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St John's Church, Hartford facts for kids

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St John the Baptist Church,
Hartford church.jpg
St John the Baptist Church, Hartford, from the southeast
Coordinates: 53°14′45″N 2°32′39″W / 53.2458°N 2.5441°W / 53.2458; -2.5441
OS grid reference SJ 638,722
Location Hartford, Cheshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Churchmanship Conservative Evangelical
Website St John, Hartford
Status Parish church
Founded 1824
Dedication St John the Baptist
Consecrated 24 June 1875
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 18 July 1986
Architect(s) John Douglas
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 29 October 1873
Construction cost £12,508 (£1.02 million in 2021)
Materials Buff and red sandstone,
red tile roof
Parish St John, Hartford
Deanery Middlewich
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York
Vicar(s) Rev Mike Smith
Minister(s) Rev George Agar
Reader(s) David Charlton
Jeremy Hunns
Churchwarden(s) Ian Barton, Danny Greaves,

St John the Baptist Church, is in the village of Hartford, Cheshire, England. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building, and is the Anglican parish church of Hartford and Greenbank. It is in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Middlewich.


The first church on the site was consecrated in 1824. Following this the population grew and the church became too small. In 1873 it was decided that a new and larger church was needed. The new church was designed by John Douglas. The foundation stone was laid on 29 October 1873. The new church was consecrated by William Jacobson, Bishop of Chester, on 24 June 1875. At this time, the church consisted of the chancel and nave with its porches and the foundations of the tower. The tower, also designed by John Douglas, was then added and this was dedicated by William Stubbs, Bishop of Chester, on 14 April 1887. On 20 June 1897 a ring of six bells was dedicated. The total cost of the church was £12,508 (£1.02 million in 2018).2018 In the 1920s a choir vestry was added to the east wall. In 1990 the church pipe organ was replaced by an electronic organ. In 1993 the roof was refurbished and during the following year the pews were replaced by chairs. In 1997–98 an extension was added to the west end of the church to provide extra seating, toilets and a kitchen.



The church is built in buff sandstone with red sandstone dressings and a red tile roof. Its plan consists of a five-bay nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, a two-bay chancel with a vestry to the south and a chapel to the north, north and south porches and a west tower. The tower is in four stages with a stair turret at the southwest corner which rises higher than the tower. The parapet is embattled. The tower is around 70 feet (21 m) high.


Internally the plaster and wooden reredos depicts the Last Supper in a Gothic gilded setting. The authors of the Buildings of England series describe the interior as being "altogether interesting, with a primitive look", commenting in particular that the two sides of the chancel are different. The main entrance to the church is now through the west extension to the church.

External features

The churchyard contains ten war graves of service personnel, three of World War I and seven of World War II.

Present day

The church continues to be an active parish church in the Evangelical tradition, and regular services are held. In addition to Sunday services, the church has a busy mid-week programme and runs a wide variety of groups, cafes and community activities. In October 2009 work started to demolish and replace the church hall. It was replaced by St John's Church Centre, which opened in November 2010. The Church Centre is primarily used for church activities, but is also in frequent use by community and other groups.

The parish is within the conservative evangelical tradition of the Church of England, and it has passed resolutions to reject the ordination of women as presbyters (priests).

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