St Thomas' Church, Stockport

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St Thomas' Church, Stockport
St. Thomas' Church, Stockport 04.jpg
St Thomas' Church, Stockport, from the northeast
St Thomas' Church, Stockport is located in Greater Manchester
St Thomas' Church, Stockport
St Thomas' Church, Stockport
Location in Greater Manchester
Coordinates: 53°24′13″N 2°09′18″W / 53.4036°N 2.1550°W / 53.4036; -2.1550
OS grid reference SJ 898 897
Location St Thomas's Place,
Wellington Road South,
Stockport, Greater Manchester
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St Thomas, Stockport
History
Consecrated 25 September 1825
Architecture
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 14 May 1952
Architect(s) George Basevi
Architectural type Church
Style Neoclassical
Groundbreaking 1822
Completed 1825
Construction cost £15,611
Specifications
Materials Stone
Administration
Parish St Thomas, Stockport
Deanery Stockport
Archdeaconry Macclesfield
Diocese Chester
Province York
Clergy
Rector Revd Fr Andrew Lythall BSc BA MA SCP (installed 23 April 2013)

St Thomas' Church is in St Thomas's Place, Wellington Road South, Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Stockport, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield, and the diocese of Chester.[1] The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.[2] It was a Commissioners' church, having received a grant towards its construction from the Church Building Commission.[3]

When it was built, Stockport was in the county of Cheshire, and it was the only church in that county to receive money from the first parliamentary grant administered by the Commission. It was designed by the architect George Basevi, and was one of his earlier works.[4] It is his only surviving Commissioners' church.[2]

History[edit]

The church was built between 1822 and 1825,[4] at a cost of £15,611 (equivalent to £1,180,000 as of 2016)[5], A grant of £15,636 was given by the Church Building Commission.[3][A] The contractors were Samuel Buxton and Son, and the land was given by Lady Warren-Bulkeley. The church was consecrated on 25 September 1825 as the daughter church of St Mary, Stockport.[6] At the time it was built it could seat 2,000.[7] The church was refurbished by T.H. Allen in 1881, and the chancel remodelled by Medland Taylor in 1890. The original seating has been replaced, but the galleries have survived.[6]

St. Thomas' Church, Stockport 02.jpg

Architecture[edit]

Exterior[edit]

St Thomas' is a Greek Revival building,.[6] constructed in ashlar[2] Runcorn sandstone.[8] It is rectangular in plan, six bays long,[2] with a clock tower attached at the west end and a massive portico at the east, its pediment supported by six Ionic columns. When the church was begun, the portico provided a frontage onto what was then the main road. A recessed central entrance beneath the portico gives entrance to the galleries, while flanking doors lead to the vestries.[6]

Toward the top of the tower are bell openings with pediments, above which is a stage containing a clock face on each side and ball finials at the corners. The tower is surmounted by an open cupola carried on eight plain columns.[4] Basevi was unhappy with the modifications to the designs of the towers at Stockport and at St Mary's in Greenwich imposed by the Commissioners, and these were the only two churches he designed for them [9] The north and south sides of the church have two tiers of windows, the upper ones with round-arched heads, and the lower ones segmental heads.[4]

Interior[edit]

The church has galleries on three sides. They are carried on square columns, which are continued up to the ceiling in the form of fluted Corinthian columns.[4] The chancel, remodelled in 1890[6] is raised, and surrounded on three sides by a balustrade.[4] A semi-circular pulpit extends from the front of the balustrade on the north side; its lower part is in stone, and the upper in ironwork. In the corresponding position on the south side is a brass eagle lectern.[10] The marble reredos behind the high altar is carved with a depiction of the Annunciation. Above this is a copy of part of Raphael's painting Transfiguration of Jesus.[11] In the south aisle is St John's Altar, which was moved from the mission church of St John when it closed in 1941.[12] The east end of the north aisle is used as the Lady Chapel.[13] The baptistry contains an octagonal font, and is floored with a mosaic depicting fishes.[14] The stained glass dates from the late 19th century, and depicts scenes from the life of Jesus.[15]

The three-manual organ was made in 1834 by Samuel Renn. Its choir division was added in 1890 by Alex Young, and the organ was cleaned and overhauled in 1961 by Jardine.[16]

St. Thomas' Church, Stockport 03.jpg

Present day[edit]

Services are held in the church on Sundays and major Christian festivals, and are usually accompanied by a robed choir.[17] Recent repairs and restorations have including replacing the roof, and repairing the clock faces and upper parts of the tower. In 2014, new washroom facilities were installed along with disabled access, at a cost of £45,000, to enable the church to be more effectively used as a venue for concerts and recitals. The upper gallery ceilings were completely restored in 2016.[18]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

A In some cases, as in this one, the size of the grant was greater than the actual construction cost because it also included contributions towards the cost of the site, legal fees, etc.

References[edit]

  1. ^ St Thomas, Stockport, Church of England, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  2. ^ a b c d Historic England, "Parish Church of St Thomas, Stockport (1067160)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  3. ^ a b Port, M. H. (2006), 600 New Churches: The Church Building Commission 1818-1856 (2nd ed.), Reading: Spire Books, p. 326, ISBN 978-1-904965-08-4 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hartwell, Claire; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 595–596, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6 
  5. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e St Thomas' Church St Thomas' Place, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, archived from the original on 20 August 2011, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  7. ^ Arrowsmith, Peter (1997), Stockport: a history, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, ISBN 0-905164-99-7 
  8. ^ Davy, Christopher (1839). The Architect, Engineer, and Operative Builder's Constructive Manual (2nd ed.). John Williams. pp. xxiv–v. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Annual Register, Volume LXXXVII. p. 305. 
  10. ^ The pulpit and chancel steps, Parish Church of St. Thomas, Stockport, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  11. ^ The high altar, Parish Church of St. Thomas, Stockport, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  12. ^ St John's Altar, Parish Church of St. Thomas, Stockport, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  13. ^ The Lady Chapel, Parish Church of St. Thomas, Stockport, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  14. ^ The Baptistry, Parish Church of St. Thomas, Stockport, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  15. ^ The Stained Glass, Parish Church of St. Thomas, Stockport, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  16. ^ Cheshire (Manchester, Greater), Stockport, St. Thomas (N01993), British Institute of Organ Studies, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  17. ^ About Us, Parish Church of St. Thomas, Stockport, retrieved 14 December 2011 
  18. ^ Restoration and fundraising, Parish Church of St. Thomas, Stockport, retrieved 14 December 2011