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St Bridget's Church, West Kirby
St Bridget's Church, West Kirby 2019.jpg
St Bridget's Church, West Kirby, from the southeast
Coordinates: 53°22′07″N 3°10′35″W / 53.3687°N 3.1763°W / 53.3687; -3.1763
OS grid reference SJ 218 864
Location West Kirby, Wirral, Merseyside
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Churchmanship Liberal Modern Catholic
History
Status Parish church
Architecture
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 5 June 1953
Architect(s) Kelly and Edwards
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Completed 1876
Specifications
Materials Stone, slate roof
Administration
Parish West Kirby
Deanery Wirral North
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York
Clergy
Rector Revd Alex Williams
Assistant priest(s) Revd Prof David Chester
Honorary priest(s) Revd Mary Railton-Crowder, Revd Anne Samuels, Revd Ray Samuels
Laity
Reader(s) John Smith, Graham Crowder
Churchwarden(s) Bill Smith, Jane Bartlett
Parish administrator Paula Cobby

St Bridget's Church is in the town of West Kirby, Wirral, Merseyside, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Wirral North. Its benefice is united with that of the Church of the Resurrection and All Saints, Caldy. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.

History

It is likely that there was a church on the site before the Norman Conquest. The first stone church was built around 1150–60. In the 13th century there were alterations or a rebuilding. Around 1320 the present chancel was built, followed by the north chapel and vestry. In 1493 the tower was erected and the north aisle was widened. By 1788 the church was "in a dilapidated state" and repairs were carried out. A major restoration took place in 1869–70 by Kelly and Edwards which amounted almost to a rebuilding. A north porch was added in 1876.

Present day

The church falls into the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England, being described as "moderate catholic" and "Liberal Modern Catholic". The parish is a member of Inclusive Church.

Architecture

Exterior

The church is built in sandstone with a slate roof. Its plan consists of a west tower, a nave, north and south aisles, a chancel, a north chapel and a vestry. The chancel is not in line with the nave and it inclines to the north. The tower has a west door above which is a three-light Perpendicular window. The bell openings are paired and have two lights. A clock face is on the east side. The summit is embattled and has a gilded weathervane dated 1757. The porch has head-stops which represent Queen Victoria and Bishop William Jacobson. At the west end of the north aisle is a gargoyle representing Gladstone and Beaconsfield.

Interior

In the south wall of the chancel are a sedilia and a piscina. The chancel arch has a low wrought iron screen by Kempe and above the arch is a painting also by Kempe. The circular font dates from the 19th century. The altar and the timber reredos are made from re-used wood from the roof of Chester Cathedral. The organ loft is by Douglas and Fordham. The organ was built in 1893 by Henry Willis & Sons and improved by the same firm in 1950. The east window of the chancel is dated 1833. 19 of the 23 windows in the church are by Kempe, and are dated between 1870 and 1906–07. In the church are a number of ancient stones, one of which is known as the Hogback stone. This dates from the early 11th century, the name Hogback referring to its curving shape. It consists of hard grey sandstone, not a type of stone found locally. There is a ring of eight bells. Four of these are dated 1719 by Abraham Rudhall II, one dated 1854 is by Bathgate & Wilson and the other three, dated 1889, are by John Taylor & Co. The parish registers date from 1561 but are incomplete. The churchwardens' accounts start in 1754.

External features

The churchyard contains the war graves of eleven Commonwealth service personnel, nine of World War I and two of World War II.

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