Halsall – St. Cuthbert’s and it’s connection with St. Catherine’s Chapel in Lydiate

The other day Sheila and I had the opportunity to visit and have a guided tour of St Cuthbert’s Church in Halsall, which is over 700 years old and in the same historic league as nearby Sefton Church in Sefton Village which, if I recall correctly, is a little bit older being over 800 years.

Modern stained glass in St Cuthbert’s – Halsall

We heard about Cromwell’s troops being billeted there and the damage that was seemingly done by them to stone carvings – knocking off noses and carving their initials on carved Knights gave slabs!

But what we found fascinating was that there is a close connection between St Cuthbert’s and Lydiate’s own St. Catherine’s Chapel, otherwise know as Lydiate Abbey. This connection is via the Ireland family.

St Catherine’s also known as Lydiate Abbey

St. Cuthbert’s is pre-reformation so whilst a C of E Parish Church now it was originally a Roman Catholic place of worship. We were told that folks living in Maghull & Lydiate would have travelled all the way to St Cuthbert’s on a Sunday, despite St. Helen’s Church in Sefton Village and Christ Church in Aughton being nearer for them. Seems in those days you had to and were expected to attend what was designated to be your parish church – no issue of choice back then for the poor in particular.

The stained glass photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:- www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Sefton Church – Painting by Harold S Scott

sefton-church-painting-by-harold-s-scott

Click on the photo to enlarge it

I came across a 2017 calendar the other day and this was the January picture. I took to it straight away and it turned out that the calendar was of the paintings of Harold S Scott.

Of course Sefton Parish is now in Sefton Borough, indeed the Borough takes its name from the historic village, but it was in West Lancashire until local government reorganisation in 1974.

What a lovely painting of a church that is close to my heart because I was choir boy there around 1970 when it was lit by candles and oil lamps.

Sefton Church – A Dickensian Christmas Fayre and a blast from my past.

img_9323

Sheila and I went along to the Dickensian Fayre held in the church last Saturday and despite the cold (the church heating had broken down so it was only warm in the Vestry) we had a good time.

Sefton Church's Dickensian Fayre. You can see the candelabra I lit as a young chap for church services.

Sefton Church’s Dickensian Fayre. You can see the candelabra I lit as a young chap for church services.

This 800+ year old church is fascinating and I have to confess that I was a choir boy there from around 1969 to 1972. Electricity was only installed in the main church building during my time there. Prior to that I went early to services with old Bert Sutcliffe of Rossyln Avenue Maghull to light the candelabra and oil lamps.

Here I am sat in the choir stalls:-

I recall sitting in this very seat - if memory serves all of course!

I recall sitting in this very seat – if memory serves well of course!

I met a lady there called Beryl from Lunt (sorry Beryl I did not catch your second name) who was attending the church at the same time I was and we reminisced about folk we had known back then – Gerry Brown the organist who sadly died quite young, Nan and Bert Sutcliffe, Mrs Payne, Owen Yandall the Rector etc.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the church:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Helen’s_Church,_Sefton

We had a lovely cup of hot soup and a bread roll in the warm Vestry and then went outside to have a look at the church from there (I am sure it was warmer outside!). Have a look at this photo, you can clearly see where the wall and window have been rebuilt as a part of the original stone window frame has been left behind.

img_9322

A bit of ‘All Our Yesterdays’ for me and a chance to meet so many lovely people from the local area. I was even invited to rejoin the choir by this fine looking Dickensian chap:-

img_9321

I don’t think I could repeat that Once in Royal David’s City solo again in the church no matter how hard I tried! And anyway I’m an atheist these days.

The first photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Maghull Wind Orchestra at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral

Tonight the ever growing reputation of Maghull Wind Orchestra went up another notch as they played to a packed audience in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.

IMG_6773

IMG_6759

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The performance also included a Chamber Choir from Belvedere Academy who unfortunately were rather drowned out by the Cathedral organ but came into their own when singing to a piano. Their rendition of Once in Royal David’s City brought back memories of my own solo performance of this popular Christmas carol at St. Helen’s Church in Sefton Village many, many moons ago. I was a choir boy there and before that at St. Andrew’s Church in Maghull in the days when I followed my parents religion.

But back to MWO whom I have seen in action twice in the past 3 days. I understand there were around 90 of them playing tonight and a wonderful sound they made too. They seem to make a big impression wherever they play and they must be doing more than their bit to put Maghull on the musical map.

Sefton Borough – It’s named after an historic village with an historic church

In a break in the bitterly cold weather of recent days I went back to St.Helen’s Church in Sefton Village to have a look at the ancient church where, and please don’t tell anyone, this old atheist was once a choir boy!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Helen%27s_Church,_Sefton

It really is a beautiful building and I love to take photos it:-

rsz_sefton_church_1

rsz_sefton_church_clock

rsz_1sefton_church_2

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/