History


The history of St Paul’s Church is closely linked with the history of the town. It seems strange to think that the land in Victoria Square where St Paul’s now stands used to be a rural area.

In 1874 the first chemical works opened in Widnes. The area had good transport links via the river and the canal, and the town soon grew into a thriving industrial area. As new factories were established, the population of the town grew rapidly.

“The Church Extension Scheme” committee was set up to provide extra Church of England churches for the Widnes area, as there were 9000 Church of England worshippers and the only churches were at Farnworth, West Bank and Ditton, all of which held only 200 people at a time. When the population of the town had grown to 25,000, the people, with the help of the famous masters of industry of the day, raised the necessary money and St Paul’s was built as a daughter Church to the “old St Mary’s.” St Paul’s, without its now familiar tower and clock, was finished in November 1884.

In the 1890’s St Paul’s Church was a very busy place. It had several halls and school rooms, and at the height of its popularity over 1,000 children attended the Sunday School. On 30th June, 1901, having had 13 years of busy life as “daughter” to St Mary’s, St Paul’s, was established as a separate parish and its first Vicar, Rev. Douglas Edward Morton, was appointed. During his seven years as Vicar, the red brick vicarage adjoining the church was built, and the tower and clock were added to the church.
The First Vicar at St. Paul's