Church history


Saturday September 15th 1866 saw the consecration of St James Church, Poolstock, Wigan.What a wonderful occasion this this would have been.

The Patron Mr James C Eckersley and his brother in law the Rector of Golborne officiated at the ceremony which began with the laying of the foundation stone on 1st September 1863.

The Eckersley family owned the largest and fastest cotton mill in Wigan and employed many local people.

The church took 3 years to build with an emphasis on the Eucharist. The altar is placed at the extreme east end of the church and raised above the chancel by 3 steps. The Baptismal font originally stood at the west door of the church to symbolise the entry into Gods Kingdom.This was later moved to the south aisle in 1970.

The Victorian era at Poolstock was typified by the use of Gothic or Neo Gothic style of architecture. The slender arches of the nave support the clerestory above. Large windows in the north and south aisles flood the church with light. The enormous east and west windows provide a wonderful canvas for depicting pillars of biblical teachings.

A fine organ built by Hill & Son in 1866 was completely renovated in 1971.Today it is still a splendid instrument which it is hoped future generations of worshippers will be able to enjoy hearing.

The neighbouring parish of St Thomas in the 1950’s,1960’s,and 1970’s was seeing much of the slum housing in the area decline and eventually swept away. By November 1970 St Thomas was closed.The church and school was demolished in 1972.

On November 29th 1970 St James and St Thomas were amalgamated. Since this time the two parishes have continued to grow and move forward with the times. Since the church was built it has had 10 Vicars . As a result of the introduction of Church Partnerships the church now has  a Priest in Charge  The Rev Neil Cook  who also is Priest in Charge of St Paul’s Church ( Goose Green) .        

A fuller history is available on request.