St John's Church, Blackpool

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St John's, Blackpool
Church of Saint John the Evangelist
St John the Evangelist, Blackpool.jpg
St John's Church, from Church Street
St John's, Blackpool is located in Blackpool
St John's, Blackpool
St John's, Blackpool
Location in Blackpool
53°49′06″N 3°03′03″W / 53.8182°N 3.0509°W / 53.8182; -3.0509Coordinates: 53°49′06″N 3°03′03″W / 53.8182°N 3.0509°W / 53.8182; -3.0509
OS grid referenceSD 3091 3628
LocationBlackpool, Lancashire
StatusParish church
DedicationJohn the Evangelist
Consecrated25 June 1878 (1878-06-25)
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationGrade II
Architect(s)Garlick, Park and Sykes
StyleEarly English
MaterialsStone with slate roofs

The parish church of Blackpool Saint John the Evangelist, or St John's Blackpool, is an Anglican church in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. It was completed in 1878 and is a Grade II listed building. A church was built on the site in 1821 and was replaced by the current building to accommodate a larger congregation. The church was designed by Garlick, Park and Sykes in the Early English style and has been restored and renovated in 1986 and from 2000–2006. St John's is known as the parish church of Blackpool, and is an active parish church in the Diocese of Blackburn which is within the ecclesiastical province of York. It is in the Archdeaconry of Lancaster and the Deanery of Blackpool.

History and architecture[edit]

Until the early 19th century, there was no parish church in Blackpool and All Hallows Church at nearby Bispham was used for Blackpool's baptisms, marriages and burials.[1] A church was built on the present site of the St John's in 1821.[2] It was dedicated to John the Evangelist and consecrated on 6 July 1821 by George Henry Law, the Bishop of Chester.[3] The church was enlarged in 1832 and 1847; a chancel was added in 1851.[4] St John's became a parish in 1860.[5] In Porter's Guide to Blackpool, Fleetwood, Lytham, etc. of 1871, the church was described as "a plain brick edifice, with a low embattled tower, and destitute of any architectural beauty".[4] The churchyard was closed to burials in 1873, when Layton Cemetery was completed, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away.[6]

To cope with a growing congregation, it was decided to replace the church with a larger building. The smaller church of 1821 was demolished in 1877 and building of the new church commenced immediately. The foundation stone was laid by Blackpool's first mayor, Dr William Cocker, who had donated £1000 towards the cost of the construction. The building was completed in 1878.[7] The new church was consecrated on 25 June 1878 by James Fraser, the Bishop of Manchester.[2] The present church was built in 1878 to a design by Garlick, Park and Sykes. It is constructed in the Early English style from yellow stone, with slate roofs and ashlar interiors.[8] The tower is at the south west of the building and has four stages and angled buttresses which are topped with pinnacles and finials. On each wall of the tower are two tall Belfry louvres.[9] St John's has a nave with low aisles, tall transepts and an apsidal chancel. The nave has cylindrical columns with circular caps. The chancel has a Gothic style screen and wooden panelling.[9]

St John's was designated a Grade II listed building on 20 October 1983.[9] The Grade II listing—the lowest of the three grades—is for buildings that are "nationally important and of special interest".[10] After 100 years of use, the church was in need of repair and restoration work was carried out in 1986. Further renovation took place between 2000 and 2006 at a cost of £1.6 million. A community and conference centre were built, as well as a dedicated area for the homelessness charity Streetlife.[2][7] The inside of the church now features a modern, comfortable worship space with several other rooms created around it.

The current Vicar of St John's is Rev Steve Haskett, who has been in post since February 2017.[11]

Present day[edit]

St John's Blackpool logo from 2018

St John's meet for worship twice a week. Sundays at 10.30am is family worship with a modern, informal feel. The singing is led by a music group and there is provision for children during the service. Refreshments are served after the service. Video and other forms of creative media are used in most services. The first Sunday of the month is 'all-age worship', where the whole church family stays together for worship. This features shorter, interactive teaching slots. The children from St John's Church of England Primary School and 10th Blackpool Scouts regularly participate in these services.

Wednesdays at 11am is a formal, robed, 'common worship' service of Holy Communion. There is usually a hymn at the start, and the Book of Common Prayer liturgy is used once every 4-5 weeks.[12]

In June 2018, St John's was awarded a grant from the Diocese of Blackburn's Financial Assistance Group, to employ a full time Children & Families Pastor for 3 years. St John's also partner with Pais:GB to host a full time schools and youth work intern. St John's is also a host church for an intern on the Blackpool Ministry Experience scheme, part of the national Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme. St John's work with Scripture Union and other local churches to host the annual 'Beach Life' mission, situated in St John's Square, on Blackpool beach, and across other parts of the Fylde Coast. [13]

St John's formed a key part of the Lancashire Festival of Hope in September 2018, where Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association conducted a 3 day evangelistic festival in the Blackpool Winter Gardens.[14][15]

In early 2018, St John's embarked on an ambitious 3 year mission and growth strategy that will see two new congregation established by 2021; one of which will be 'off site' at St John's School.[citation needed]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Rothwell (2002), p. 97
  2. ^ a b c "A Little History", Official website, St John's, retrieved 19 July 2010
  3. ^ Porter (1876), p. 330
  4. ^ a b Porter's Guide (1871), p. 25
  5. ^ Farrer & Brownbill (1912), pp. 247–251
  6. ^ Porter (1876), p. 353
  7. ^ a b Blackpool Gazette (2007), pp. 16–17
  8. ^ Pevsner (1969), p. 69
  9. ^ a b c Historic England, "Church of St. John (1362391)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 26 May 2011
  10. ^ "Listed Buildings", National Heritage List for England, English Heritage, retrieved 26 May 2011
  11. ^ "Who's Who at St John's". St John's Blackpool.
  12. ^ "St John's Blackpool". St John's Blackpool. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  13. ^ "St John's Blackpool". St John's Blackpool. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  14. ^ "St John's Blackpool". St John's Blackpool. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  15. ^ "What is the Festival of Hope? - Lancashire Festival of Hope". Lancashire Festival of Hope. Retrieved 29 June 2018.


External links[edit]