St John the Evangelist's Church, Weston

St John the Evangelist's Church, Weston

St John's Church from the southwest

St John the Evangelist's Church, Weston is located in Cheshire
St John the Evangelist's Church, Weston
Location in Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°19′08″N 2°44′20″W / 53.3190°N 2.73885°W / 53.3190; -2.73885
OS grid reference SJ 509 805
Location Weston, Runcorn, Cheshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St John's, Weston
Dedication Saint John the Evangelist
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 5 April 1990
Architect(s) Douglas & Fordham
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 1897
Completed 1900
Length 88.5 ft (27.0 m)
Nave width 25 ft (7.6 m)
Other dimensions Chancel width 18.5 ft (5.6 m)
Materials Red sandstone ashlar
Welsh slate roofs
Parish St John, Weston, Runcorn
Deanery Frodsham
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York
Vicar(s) Rev. Beth Gardner

St John the Evangelist's Church is in Weston, once a separate village and now part of the town of Runcorn, Cheshire, England. The church has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.[1] It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Frodsham.[2] Its design has been described as "bold and original".[1]



The church was built between 1897 and 1898 to a design by Douglas & Fordham at a cost of over £5,000 (£410,000 as of 2011).[3][4] It was initially a chapel of ease to Runcorn parish church. In order to raise funds to build the church, its choirboys wrote thousands of letters to choristers and choirboys of churches and cathedrals throughout the country. This initiative aroused the interest of many people, and over 5,000 donations were received from people in all walks of life.[5] Because of this, it is sometimes known as "the choirboys' church".[1] The tower was added in 1900 at a cost of approximately £700 (£60,000 as of 2011).[4] A clock costing about £60 made by J. B. Joyce of Whitchurch was added to the tower in 1901.[6] St John's became a separate parish in 1931. [5] In 1998 an automated winding system was added to the clock, also made by Messrs. Joyce, costing £3,250.[6]



The church is built from local red sandstone with Welsh slate roofs. Its plan consists of an embraced west tower, a four-bay nave with a narrow north aisle, a south porch approached by a flight of steps, and a chancel which is higher than the nave. The organ chamber is to the north of the chancel and underneath the chancel are vestries.[1] It has a "very short, very powerful west tower with short broach spire", with one set of lucarnes.[7] Te church has two massive west buttresses and a shallow buttress to the south. On the west side is a two-light window above which is a clock face. On each side are two-light bell openings.[1]


The stone pulpit is polygonal and includes a panel depicting the Crucifixion. The font is also stone and is octagonal.[1] In the south wall are two stained glass windows. The one to the west depicts Isaiah in a single panel and was made by L. A. Pownall of Falmouth. The other window has four panels depicting Joshua, Saint George, Saint Alban and Gideon; it was made by Percy Bacon of London.[8] The east window depicts the Crucifixion and is by C. E. Kempe.[9] Only one of the windows in the north wall contains stained glass. It depicts two angels; the designed and maker are unknown. The west wall contains a window to the memory of Rev Frank Cartwright, vicar from 1963 to 1968. It contains motifs relating to the Diocese of Worcester where Rev Cartwright was trained, including a figure of Wulfstan of Worcester, and the Diocese of Chester, including a figure of Saint Werburgh.[10] The organ was built by A. Young in 1898 and rebuilt by the Jardine Organ Company in 1981.[11] In the vestry is a framed letter from Robert Baden-Powell, posted from South Africa on 12 August 1900, congratulating the boys of Weston Village for forming an Anti-Smoking Society.[12]

See also

  • List of listed buildings in Runcorn (urban area)
  • List of new churches by John Douglas


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, Runcorn", The National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), 2011,, retrieved 3 May 2011 
  2. ^ St John the Evangelist, Weston, Runcorn, Church of England,, retrieved 11 February 2011 
  3. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Lawrence H. Officer (2010) "What Were the UK Earnings and Prices Then?" MeasuringWorth.
  4. ^ a b Cowan 2008, p. 2.
  5. ^ a b Starkey 1990, pp. 99–100.
  6. ^ a b Cowan 2008, p. 16.
  7. ^ Hartwell et al. 2011, pp. 664–665.
  8. ^ Cowan 2008, p. 6.
  9. ^ Cowan 2008, p. 8.
  10. ^ Cowan 2008, pp. 10–11.
  11. ^ Weston St. John the Evangelist, British Institute of Organ Studies,, retrieved 15 April 2008 
  12. ^ Cowan 2008, pp. 13–14.
  • Cowan, Alex (2008), St. John the Evangelist Church, Weston, Runcorn, Weston: Les Littlemore 
  • Hartwell, Claire; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6 
  • Starkey, H. F. (1990), Old Runcorn, Halton Borough Council 

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