Church of The Good Shepherd, Wardlow

Recent Photograph of Church of The Good Shepherd (Wardlow)

This traditional-looking 19th century church was conceived in 1871 as a result of the efforts of the Reverend Samuel ANDREW, vicar of Tideswell.

A Sunday School had been built in 1835 (by 1871 the National School), and the church was built onto the side of it, opening in a partially completed state on Friday 20th September 1872 during the village Wakes Week celebrations. The proceeds from fund raising events provided sufficient money for the church's roof to be completed before the coming winter!. The school building meanwhile provided a side chapel until the church was consecrated in June 1873.

The architect was H. COCKBAIN of Middleton, near Manchester, and there are 100 sittings in a single aisle. The north wall is shared with the school, and there is a small central arch which still opens through into the side chapel but other archways between the two parts of the building have been filled in. There is a stone pulpit on the south wall, reached by a stone turret staircase, lit by a diamond-shaped and 'bulls eye' window. The pulpit is carved with foliage and the words ‘My Sheep hear My Voice’. Other quotations within the church continue the ‘Good Shepherd’ theme - ‘The Good Shepherd giveth his life for the Sheep’ and ‘He Shall feed His flock like a Shepherd’ on the gritstone reredos. Painted around the rim of the font is ‘One Lord, One Baptism, One Hope’, and ‘He shall go in and out and find pasture’ is on a pierced oak screen across the west end of the nave.

A pair of oak collection plates commemorate Thomas FURNISS who died in 1984, There is also a large glass dome containing an arrangement of white artificial flowers ‘In affectionate remembrance of our little friend Hilda ALLSOPP. From parents, teachers and scholars’. The dome stood on the child's grave in summertime, and was brought inside every winter to protect against frost damage, but is now inside permanently for safe keeping. An enamelled brass ornamented with the symbols of the evangelists commemorates the Reverend Samuel ANDREW, one of few wall monuments. The only coloured glass is a panel above the reredos representing ‘Suffer Little Children to come unto Me’.

There is a white marble monument for the three young men of Wardlow who fell in the two World Wars, their names each marked with a cross on the two Rolls of Honour, and a memorial stone in the churchyard for William Leslie BLEARS, who was lost at sea on H.M.S. Barham in 1941.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Alf Beard on 12th June 2003.
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