St Thomas' Church, Lancaster

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St Thomas' Church, Lancaster
St Thomas Lancaster drawing.jpg
Architects' drawing 1852–53
St Thomas' Church, Lancaster is located in Lancaster city centre
St Thomas' Church, Lancaster
St Thomas' Church, Lancaster
Location in Lancaster
Coordinates: 54°02′46″N 2°47′58″W / 54.0461°N 2.7994°W / 54.0461; -2.7994
OS grid reference SD 477,614
Location Marton Street, Lancaster, Lancashire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Churchmanship Evangelical
Weekly attendance 600
Website St Thomas, Lancaster
Founded 3 March 1840
Dedication St Thomas
Consecrated 14 June 1841
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 13 March 1995
Architect(s) Edmund Sharpe,
E. G. Paley
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 1840
Completed 1853
Spire height 120 feet (36.6 m)
Materials Sandstone, slate roofs
Parish St Thomas, Lancaster
Deanery Lancaster
Archdeaconry Lancaster
Diocese Blackburn
Province York
Vicar(s) Revd Jonathan Scamman
Reader(s) Cathleen Dawson
Director of music Martin Walmsley
Churchwarden(s) Chris Park,
Anne Gager
Youth ministry coordinator Ian Sarginson
Parish administrator Leslie Mann

St Thomas' Church is in Marton Street, Lancaster, Lancashire, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Lancaster, the archdeaconry of Lancaster and the diocese of Blackburn.[1] The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.[2]


St Thomas' was built between 1840 and 1841 to a design by the local architect Edmund Sharpe.[3] One of the subscribers to the church was Queen Victoria who, as Duchess of Lancaster, contributed £150 (equivalent to £12,200 in 2015).[4][5] The land was given by George Marton of Capernwray Hall, and Elizabeth Salisbury made an endowment of £1,100. As originally planned, the church was intended to seat 1,100 people.[6] The foundation stone was laid on 3 March 1840, the church opened for worship on 14 April 1841, and it was consecrated on 14 June by Rt Revd John Bird Sumner, Bishop of Chester.[5] In 1852–53 Sharpe's successor, E. G. Paley added the northeast steeple and the chancel in a similar architectural style.[3]



The authors of the Buildings of England series state that the church has "a grand approach up steps with imposing gatepiers".[3] It is constructed in sandstone ashlar with slate roofs in Early English style. Its plan consists of a six-bay nave with north and south aisles under three gabled roofs; the nave is extended one bay to the west to form a narthex. At the east end is a two-bay chancel with a steeple in the angle between the north aisle and the chancel. The lower part of the steeple has two square stages, with buttresses and a stair turret. Above the level of the aisle it becomes octagonal with louvred bell openings. The spire is also octagonal, with two tiers of lucarnes, a finial and an iron cross. A plain parapet runs along the tops of the eaves and gables. In the west front are five tall stepped lancet windows under which is a triple doorway. On each side of the front are buttresses that rise up to turrets with finials. There are more lancet windows around the church, with a triple lancet at the east end.[2]


Inside the church are galleries on three sides supported by cast iron columns.[2] A brass dated 1881 was produced by Shrigley and Hunt. The arms of Queen Victoria are on the west gallery.[3] The stained glass in the east window is by William Warrington, and the tiles on the chancel floor and in the reredos are by Mintons. The pulpit and other furnishings are by James Rattee of Cambridge, and the organ case was made by James Hatch.[7] The three-manual pipe organ was built in 1852 by John Banfield, rebuilt in the 1880s by Richard Tubbs and, between 1920 and 1940, was rebuilt again and moved to its present position at the northeast of the nave by Jardine and Company.[8]

See also[edit]