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Holy Cross Church, Woodchurch
South side of Holy Cross, Woodchurch 2.jpg
Holy Cross Church, Woodchurch
Holy Cross Church, Woodchurch is located in Merseyside
Holy Cross Church, Woodchurch
Holy Cross Church, Woodchurch
Location in Merseyside
53°22′25″N 3°05′24″W / 53.3735°N 3.0900°W / 53.3735; -3.0900
OS grid reference SJ 276 869
Location Woodchurch, Birkenhead, Wirral, Merseyside
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Churchmanship Modern Anglo-Catholic
Website Holy Cross, Woodchurch
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 29 July 1950
Architect(s) Hubert Worthington
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic, Gothic Revival
Completed 1965
Materials Stone, slate roofs with some copper covering
Parish Woodchurch
Deanery Birkenhead
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York

Holy Cross Church is in Woodchurch, an area of Birkenhead, Wirral, Merseyside, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Birkenhead. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.


The fabric of the nave originates from the 12th century. However, the circular style graveyard suggests a pre-Norman date, possible Saxon or Romano-British. This early date is supported by the discovery of a portion of a 'Class D' Anglo-Saxon wheel cross at the grounds of the church in the late 19th or early 20th century and placed within the wall of the chancel within the church. The cross probably stood intact in the graveyard until the 17th century when many such crosses were destroyed by the Puritans In the 14th century the south aisle, chancel and tower were added. The south aisle was rebuilt in the 16th century and a south porch was added. Heavy diagonal buttresses were added to the tower in 1675. The vestry was built in 1766. The north aisle by Hubert Worthington was added in 1964–65.



The church is built in stone. The roofs are of slate with copper covering the latest additions to the church. Its plan consists of a nave with north and south aisles, a chancel, vestry and south porch. The tower is in two stages, the lower stage being very high. At the northwest and southwest corners of the tower are massive stepped buttresses. To its southeast is a square stair turret. Its top is embattled. In the porch is a shallow piscina and grooves said to be caused by the sharpening of arrows. The windows in the porch contain some medieval stained glass. The north wall of the nave is Norman and the chancel inclines to the north. Built into the wall of the chancel is a Saxon wheel cross. The chancel also contains old stained glass.


On the north wall of the chancel are three 17th-century wooden epitaph panels containing the coats of arms of local people painted by Randle Holme. The wooden carved bench ends in the chancel date from the 15th century. At the back of the church is a charity board dated 1741. On the west wall are old bread shelves dated 1641 and 1670. On the west wall of the south aisle are the remnants of a Jesse window by Kempe which was damaged by a bomb in 1941 and restored in 1945. The octagonal font dates from the late 15th century and includes carvings of angels and scenes from the Passion. The floor contains some medieval encaustic tiles. The rood screen, designed by Bernard A. Miller and carved by Alan Durst, was added in 1934. The south window of the chancel is by Kempe, and is dated 1875. A processional cross dated 1937 was carved in ivory by Alan Durst. In the chancel is a monument by W. Spence to Margaret Hughes who died in 1802. The parish registers begin in 1571. There is a ring of eight bells which were cast in 1971 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. It is said to be one of the lightest rings in Britain.

Organ Specification

The organ was built in 1938 by Rushworth and Dreaper and rebuilt in 1997 by the same firm. It is an electronic extension organ, with 2 manuals and a concave radiating pedal board. There are also confusingly 2 boxes, meaning that the entire instrument is boxed. Listed below are the list of stops, which on the instrument are tabbed, along with a list of where stops have been used again, and which box controls the stop. The number in brackets refers to the stop number below which from which it is borrowed.

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