St John the Evangelist, Crawshawbooth - Centenary Booklet 1892 - 1992

St John the Evangelist Church, Crawshawbooth


On a chilly May evening in 1952, Canon Paton-Williams preached at St. John's Anniversary Sermons. The 'Sermons' were then still a vitally important part of the Church's year in Lancashire; parishioners whose attendance was becoming otherwise rare appeared for the annual gathering and exchange of news with old friends and distant relatives.

Canon Paton-Williams was not at St. John's for long (1920-1926), but his popularity was such that on his return 26 years later, the church was 'thronged'. His theme for the sermon was the atmosphere of a church, and how it becomes hallowed by years of worship within its walls. St. John's was still only 60 years old, but to imagine Crawshawbooth without it, then as now, was impossible.

From the day of its opening it was an integral part of village life, thought of by many ever since as their family church and part of their own personal history.

How did such a large and beautiful structure, often referred to as the 'Cathedral of the Valley', come to be built in a small village in East Lancashire? A hundred years later it is time to reflect on the mood of the times and the events that brought it about.

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Reproduced by kind permission of St John's P.C.C. 1992