This lovely Victorian Church was dedicated to Saint Nicholas, was built by King’s College, Cambridge, to commemorate the fourth centenary of the foundation of the College, and was consecrated on 4th June 1849 by the Right Reverend John Graham, Lord Bishop of Chester and Provost of Kings College, and the Vicar of Prescot, the Reverend R. W. Sampson of Prescot assisting. The Reverend H. E. Vallancey, one of the Senior Fellows of King’s College, was instituted as the first vicar on 10th July 1849 and was inducted on 4th August 1849. It was designed by Sharpe and Paley. St. Nicholas is a Grade II listed building, with an East Window designed by Henry Holiday, the Pre-Raphaelite artist.
Our strong link with King’s College has continued to this day. We have a four-part harmony choir which has been affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music since 1973, including a strong junior section.
The Father Willis organ was provided by William Pilkington in 1865 and is still in regular use. Gas lighting was installed in 1889. Electric lighting was not installed until 1949.
St. Nicholas must have been well attended because a second church in Sutton was needed. The foundation stone of All Saints was laid in 1891, and the church was consecrated in 1893. St. Michael’s church was built much later in 1952. St. Nicholas, thus, is the original Parish Church of Sutton. It is often referred to locally as “top church”.
In 1897 Charlotte Hughes of Sherdley Hall added the tower at St. Nicholas, and, later, the pews. If you look at the front two pews, there are plaques to that effect, requiring that these pews should be: “For ever allocated to the use of Sherdley Hall”!
The extension includes toilet facilities, a refurbished kitchen, vicar’s vestry and the St. Cecilia Vestry Chapel- the patron saint of music. It was completed and dedicated in 1992. A new floor was laid in the church in 1995, and a new sound system was installed in 2011 in memory of faithful church members.
The church yard, which belongs to the parish, continued to grow around St. Nicholas church The Parish Hall was built in 1953. The original Scout Headquarters was consecrated in 1968. Following a fire, a smart new brick Headquarters was built in 2010.
The Church has seen much over the years- joy and sorrow, tears and laughter. It has heard the sounds of warm and known peace. It has seen storm and tempest, is being affected by vandalism, and yet it has remained solid and dependable, speaking of all that is faithful and true within our community.
As Christians we believe in the love of God, shown to all the world through God sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to free us from our sins which have distanced us as a people from God.
Jesus as our Lord and Saviour teaches us that God is very close to us, and wants dwell within our hearts and be part of our everyday lives.
God, through His Holy Spirit that is God’s very self, equips us so we can serve Him with joy in this life, and look forward to eternal life through the death and Resurrection of His Son.
Enquiries to the Parish Office, Eaves Lane, Sutton, St. Helens, WA9 3UB. Office Hours are 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. Telephone 01744 813841 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org