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Our Churches and Chapels by Atticus

Part 5 out of 6

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them have been heard to say that they would put him "behind the
fire" in the vestry, and he in turn has been heard to remark that he
would return the compliment. But all this sort of Christian courtesy
has disappeared--let us hope forever; and the members now nestle in
their seats lovingly, casting calm glances at each other betimes,
and attending duly to the parson, who eyes them placidly, and
encourages their affection. If they had to nestle upon each other's
bosoms during the intervals--properly, and without falling asleep
over the job--he would not grow sullen and angry. On Sundays, there
are a couple of services--morning, and evening--at the chapel; and
every Wednesday evening there is a prayer meeting, but it is not a
very savage gathering; men and women seldom lash themselves into a
foam at it; and nothing is uttered during its proceedings out of the
ordinary run of Queen's English.

The Rev. G. F. Newman, a south of England gentleman, who, during the
past seven or eight years, through delicate health, has spent much
of his time in France, is the minister. He has an income independent
of his clerical stipend. From Grimshaw-street Chapel he gets about 3
pounds per week. It is derived from pew rents, which range from 1s.
to 2s. 11d. per seat per quarter, so that its increase will depend
upon the manner he fills the place. Mr. Newman is about 34 years of
age, is of middle stature, has nothing physically ponderous or
irrelevant about him; is a dark complexioned, moderately-sized
person, of gentlemanly taste, deportment, and expression; knows
manners--"they order this matter better in France," as Sterne would
say; his commingling with our lively neighbours has evidently given
him the direct cue to them; has a temperament of the nervous-bilious
order; is more perceptive than reflective; but has a calm, clear
intellect notwithstanding; is rather fond of the sublime, and likes
a strong dash of the beautiful; believes in good music, and
understands notes a little himself; is an excellent reader--one of
the best we have heard; is an average preacher; has nothing flashy
or terrific in his style, but goes on quietly, tastefully, and with
precision; cares more for short than long sermons; repeats himself
rather often; likes to give his own experience during illustrations;
talks much of France, and never forgets to let his hearers know that
he has been there; takes long, careful pauses in his sermons, as if
he were elaborating his conceptions, or selecting the exact words in
which to convey them most definitely; has a special regard for the
gas pendant on the left side of the pulpit, which he handles
affectionately as a rest; dislikes being interrupted when either
reading, or praying, or preaching; can't stand coughing; doesn't
like a Preston cough--it has a half-harsh half-oily sound, which he
could detect if in London or Paris; believes more in faith than good
works, but respects both; is scrupulous as to punctuality, and is
almost inclined to emulate the incumbent of Christ Church, who once
threatened to lock the doors of that building at a certain time
after business commenced, if all were not in their places;
particularly objects to a lady coming late, because, as a rule, she
makes a great noise with her dress on entering a place of worship,
and, in addition, induces all the other ladies present to turn
round, or look on one side, for the purpose of seeing what she is
wearing; is more of a conversationalist than a speaker; likes chit-
chat; would be at home in a conversazione or al fresco tea party,
where the attendants walk about, gossip merrily, and, whilst holding
a tea cup in one hand, poise with two fingers a piece of delicately-
buttered toast in the other--a continental style quite aesthetic and
refined in comparison with our feeding, and gormandising, and
sweating exhibitions. Mr. Newman promises to be a good minister. His
commencement has been, satisfactory, and his prospects are
encouraging. He is a bachelor, and seems mildly happy; but his bliss
might be consummated--let no lady prick her ears too highly, for Mr.
Newman has cautiousness largely developed--if he would study and
practically carry out that notion expressed at a meeting over which
he recently presided; the lecturer on that occasion saying that
"marriage is essential to the true happiness of man."

The young men at Grimshaw-street are pretty intelligent and
controversial. They have a mutual improvement class, which is one of
the best of its kind in the town, and they discuss the laws of
life,--mental, physical, political, and spiritual--like embryonic
philosophers bent upon rectifying all creation. Their class is
prosperous, and is calculated, if correctly managed, to be of much
importance to those visiting it. All such classes ought to
encouraged, and we hope the Grimshaw-street essayists will go on
rectifying creation--never forgetting themselves at the same time.
For a long period there has been a Sunday school in connection with
the chapel. Several years, in the earlier stages of the
denomination's career, the scholars were taught in the vestry and in
pews at the chapel; but in 1836 a school was erected for them upon a
plot of land adjoining, and in 1846 it was enlarged to its present
size. The average Sunday attendance is about 300. In January, 1868 a
day school for boys, girls, and infants was opened in the same
building, under the conductorship of Mr. J. Greenhalgh. So far it
has been very successful. Its average attendance is about 190.
Government reports speak very hopefully of the place; more prizes
have been awarded to it by the Science and Art Department, South
Kensington, than to any other school in the town; and its present
status indicates a prosperous future. An unsectarian night school is
also held in the building, and its average attendance is about 120.
In addition there is a band of hope society at the place, and it is
better attended than any other similar association in Preston. All
that Grimshaw-street Chapel wants is a fuller congregation. That
would develope every department of it; and energy, combined with
continuity of service, would secure this. Mr. Newman who understands
French, must adopt as his motto, and have it embossed on the buttons
of his own and his deacons' coats, and on the backs of the seven
chairs they use in the chapel, the words "Boutez en avant."


There are nearly 13,000 people in the "district" of this church.
What a difference time makes! At the beginning of the present
century the greater portion of the district was made up of fields;
whilst lanes, with hedges set each side, constituted what are now
some of its busiest streets. Volunteers and militiamen used to meet
for drill on a large piece of land in the very heart of the
locality; troops of charwomen formerly washed their clothes in water
pits hard by, and dried them on the green-sward adjoining; and
everything about wore a rural and primitive aspect. St. Paul's
Church is situated on a portion of land which, 50 years ago, was
fringed with trees and called "The Park;" and this accounts for the
name still given by many to the sacred edifice--namely "Park
Church." The sisters of the late J. Bairstow, Esq., kept a school at
one time on, or contiguous to, this park. A road, starting opposite
the Holy Lamb, in Church-street, and ending near the top of High-
street, formerly passed through "The Park." Years ago a ducking or
cucking stool was placed at the northern side of it, adjoining a
pit, and at the edge of the thoroughfare known as Meadow street.
This ducking stool was intended for the special benefit of vixens
and scolding wives. It consisted of a strong plank, at the end of
which was a chair, the centre working upon a pivot, and, after the
person to be punished had been duly secured, she was ducked into the
water. If this system were now in force, it would often be
patronised, for there are many lively termagants in the land, and
lots in Preston.

The first stone of St. Paul's Church was laid on Tuesday, 21st
October, 1823. Out of the million pounds granted by Parliament for
the erection of churches, some time prior to the date given,
Preston, through Dr. Lawe, who was then Bishop of Chester, got
12,500 pounds. It was originally intended to expend this sum in the
erection of one church--St. Peter's; but at the request of the Rev.
R. Carus Wilson, vicar of Preston, the money was divided, one half
going to St. Peter's, and the other to St. Paul's. Some people might
consider this like "robbing Peter to pay Paul," but it was better to
halve the money for the benefit of two districts, than give all of
it for the spiritual edification of one, and leave the other
destitute. The land forming the site of St. Paul's was given by
Samuel Pole Shawe, Esq. The full cost of the building was about
6,500 pounds. Around the edifice there is a very large iron-railed
grave yard, which is kept in pretty good order. St. Paul's is built
entirely of stone, in the early English style of architecture. It
has a rather elegant appearance; but it is defective in altitude has
a broad, flat, and somewhat bald-looking roof, and needs either a
good tower or spire to relieve and dignify it. In front there are
several pointed windows, a small circular hole above for birds'
nests, two doorways with a window between them, a central
surmounting gable, and a couple of feathery-headed perforated
turrets, one being used as a chimney, and the other as a belfry.
There is only a single bell at the church, and it is pulled
industriously on Sundays by a devoted youth, who takes his stand in
a boxed-off corner behind one of the doors. At the opposite end of
the church there are two turrets corresponding in height and form
with those is front. Two screens of red cloth are fixed just within
the entrance and, whilst giving a certain degree of selectness to
the place, they prevent people sitting near them from being blown
away or starved to death on very windy days when the doors happen to
be open.

The interior consists of a broad, ornamentally roofed nave (resting
upon twelve high narrow pillars of stone), and two aisles. The
pillars seriously obstruct the vision of those sitting at the sides;
indeed, in some places so detrimental are they that you can see
neither the reading-desk nor the pulpit. Above, there is a very
large gallery, set apart on the west for the organ and choir, and on
each side for general worshippers, school children, as a rule, being
in front, and requiring a good deal of watching during the services.
In some parts of the gallery seeing is quite as difficult as in the
sides beneath, owing to the intervening nave pillars. Efforts have
been made to rectify this evil, not by trying to pull down the
pillars, but by removing the pulpit, &c, so that all might have a
glance at it. The pulpit is situated on the south-eastern side, near
the chancel, and one Sunday it was brought into the centre of the
church; but it could be seen no better there than in its old
position, so it was carried back, and has remained unmolested ever
since. If it were put upon castors, and pushed slowly and with
becoming reverence up and down the church during sermon time, all
would get a view of its occupant; but we believe the warders have an
objection to pulpits on castors, so that there is no hope in this
respect. The reading-desk stands opposite the pulpit, and looks very
broad and diminutive. The chancel is plain. A large, neatly designed
stained glass window occupies the end. On each side there is a mural
monument--one being to the memory of Samuel Horrocks, Esq., Guild
Mayor in 1842, and son of S. Horrocks, Esq., of Lark-hill, who for
twenty-two years represented Preston in Parliament; and the other,
raised by public subscription, to the memory of the Rev. Joseph
Rigg, who was minister of St. Paul's for nineteen years, and who
died in 1847. The general fittings and arrangements of the church
indicate plainness of design, combined with medium strength and
thorough respectability. In no part of the building is there any
eccentric flourishing or artistic meandering. The roof, the walls,
and the base of the window niches, which have become blackened with
rain, need cleaning up; and some day, when money is plentiful, they
will no doubt be renovated. The seats are strong, broad, and regular
in shape. All of them, except one, are let, and it would speedily be
tenanted if more conveniently located. There is a pillar in it, and,
in order to get a proper view of the officiating minister, you must
stand up, lean forward, and glance with a rolling eye round the
corners of the obstruction--a thing which many of the more bashful
of our species would not like to do.

The church will accommodate about 1,200 persons, and the average
Sunday attendance may be calculated at 800. The gallery is
patronised extensively by the "million"; the ground floor pews are
occupied by more select and fashionable individuals. The great
majority of the worshippers sit above, and few vacant spaces can as
a rule be seen there. Down stairs the crush is less severe. The
congregation is a mixture of working and middle class people; the
former kind being preponderant. At the sides there are long narrow
ranges of free seats; but they are not often disturbed. On two
successive Sundays we gave them a passing look, and they appeared to
be almost deserted. A couple of little boys seated in the centre,
and engaged in the pleasing juvenile business of swinging their
legs, were the only occupants we saw on the right side during our
first inspection; and when we viewed the range on the other side,
the Sunday after, we could only catch tender glimpses of three
females, all very quiet, and each belonging the antique school of
life. "Where will you sit?" said a large-hearted young man, when we
made our second appearance. "There," was our reply, pointing at the
same time to a well-cushioned and genially sequestered seat at the
north-west corner, and we were ushered into it with becoming
decorum. In two minutes afterwards five women and a festive infant,
dressed in a drab cloak, and muffled all over to keep the cold out,
stopped at the pew door. We stepped out; three of the females, with
the baby, stepped in; the remainder went into the next pew; and
after condensing our nerve power, we settled down in the corner from
which we had been disturbed, quietly lifting one hand over the door
and latching it firmly at the same moment, our idea being than an
environment of five females, with a baby thrown into the bargain,
was quite enough for the remainder of the morning. After an inquiry
as to the christening arrangements at the church, for we fancied
this was a christening gathering, we got nearer the baby, and, in a
delicately sympathetic whisper said--"How old is it?" The maiden who
was holding it blushed, and laconically breathed out the words,
"Three months." We subsequently found out that the seat we were in
was the incumbent's, and that the blessed baby, whose lot we had
been contemplating with such interest, was his, too.

Six minutes before the commencement there were only nine persons in
the body of the church; but nearly 300 were congregated there when
the service began, whilst the gallery was well filled with
worshippers of all ages and sizes. All the responses here are
"congregational"--none of them being in any way intoned. We believe
that St. Paul's is the only Protestant church in Preston wherein
this system is observed. The effect, when compared with the plans of
intonation now so universal, is very singular; and it sometimes
sounds dull and monotonous--like a long, low, rumbling of irregular
voices, as if there were some quaint, oddly-humoured contention
going on in every pew. But the worshippers seem to like the system,
and as they have a perfect right to be their own judges, other
people must be silent on the subject. The music is not of an
extraordinary sort; it is plain, and very well joined in by the
congregation. But the choir, like many others, lacks weight and
symphony. Mrs. Myres, the wife of the incumbent, is a member of the
choir, and if all the other individuals in it had her musical
knowledge, an improvement would soon follow. The organ is a very
good one. It was given by the late T. Miller, Esq., and H. Miller,
Esq., and placed in the church in 1844. Recently it has been put in
first-rate condition, for organs, like the players of them, get
worse for wear, by T. H. and W. P. Miller, Esqrs. The organist knows
his work, and is able to perform it with ability.

At St. Paul's there is morning and evening service on a Sunday; and
every Wednesday evening there is a short service, but like the bulk
of mid-week devotional exercises it is not much cared for, only
about 150 joining it on the average. On the second Sunday in each
month there is an early sacrament at St. Paul's. At no other place
of worship in the town, that we know of, save Christ Church, is
there a similar sacramental arrangement. Since St. Paul's was
opened, there have been five incumbents at it. The first was the
Rev. Mr. Russell; then came the Rev. J. Rigg, who was a most
exemplary clergyman; next the Rev. S. F. Page, who was followed by
the Rev. J. Miller; the present incumbent being the Rev. W. M.
Myres, son of Mr. J. J. Myres, of Preston. Mr. Myres came to St.
Paul's at the beginning of 1867, and when he made his appearance
fidgetty and orthodox souls were in a state of mingled dudgeon and
trepidation as to what be would do. It was fancied that he was a
Ritualist--fond of floral devices and huge candles, with an
incipient itching for variegated millinery, beads, and crosses. But
his opponents, who numbered nearly two-thirds of the congregation,
screamed before they were bitten, and went into solemn paroxysms of
pious frothiness for nothing. Subsequent events have proved how
highly imaginative their views were. No church in the country has
less of Ritualism in it than St. Paul's. Its services are pre-
eminently plain; all those parts whereon the spirit of innovation
has settled so strongly in several churches during the past few
years are kept in their original simplicity; and in the general
proceedings nothing can be observed calculated to disturb the peace
of the most fastidious of show-disliking Churchmen.

Mr. Myres is about 30 years of age, is corporeally condensed, walks
as if he were in earnest and wanted to catch the train, has a mild,
obliging, half-diffident look, wears a light coloured beard and
moustache, each of which is blossoming very nicely; is sharp, yet
even-tempered; bland and genial, yet sincere; has keen powers of
observation, has a better descriptive than logical faculty, is not
very imaginative, cares more for prose than poetry, more for facts
than sallies of the fancy, more for gentle devotion, and quiet
persevering labour in his own locality than for virtuous welterings
and sacred acrobatism in other districts. He has endeavoured, since
coming to Preston, to mind his own business, and parsons often find
that a hard thing to accomplish. Polished in education, he is humble
and social in manner. He will never be an ecclesiastical show-man,
for his disposition is in the direction of general quietude and good
neighbourship. If he ever gets into a sacred disturbance the fault
will be through somebody else dragging him into it, and not because
he has courted it by natural choice. He is more cut out for sincere
labour, pleasantly and strenuously conducted, than for intellectual
generalship or lofty theological display. His brain may lack high
range and large creativeness; but he possesses qualities of heart
and spirit which mere brilliance cannot secure, and which simple
cerebral strength can never impart. We admire him for his
courteousness, his artless simplicity of nature, his earnest,
kindly-devotedness to duty, and his continual attention to
everything affecting the welfare of those he has to look after. Mr.
Myres is greatly respected by all in his district; he has transmuted
the olden ritualistic horror which prevailed in the district, into
one of love and reverence; and all his sheep have a genial and
affectionate bleat for him.

The Rev. C. G. Acworth, a learned young man, whose facial capillary
forces are coming gradually into play, and who seems to have the
entire Book of Common Prayer off by heart, is the curate of St.
Paul's. He is a good reader, a steady, sententious, epigrammatic
preacher, and with a little more knowledge of the world ought to
make a clever and most useful minister. Something, which we do not
think exists in connection with any other Preston church for the
management of affairs, is established here. It is a "Church
Committee." It consists of the ministers, the churchwardens, and a
dozen members of the congregation. They discuss all sorts of matters
appertaining to the district, smooth down grievances when any are
nursed, and keep everything in good working order. The outside
machinery for mentally and religiously improving the district is
very extensive and varied. There are five day and Sunday schools
under the auspices of St. Paul's. They are situated in Pole and
Carlisle streets, and are under the guidance of four superintendents
and fifty-seven teachers. Mrs. Myres (wife of the incumbent), who is
a great favourite throughout the district, is one of the teachers.
The day or national schools are the largest in the town; they have
an average attendance of 934; and that in which boys are taught is
the only one of its kind in Preston which is self-supporting. The
average attendance of Sunday scholars is 800.

Night schools also form part of the educational programme, and they
are well attended. A mutual improvement class--the oldest in the
town--likewise exists in connection with St. Paul's. It was
established by the Rev. S. F. Page, and is conducted on principles
well calculated to regulate, illumine, and edify the youths who mar
and make empires at it. A temperance society, in which the Rev. Mr.
Acworth, who is a "Bright water for me" believer, has taken
praiseworthy interest, has furthermore got a footing in St. Paul's,
and beyond that there is a band of hope society in the district,
which does its share of work. Every Monday afternoon, a "Mother's
Meeting," conducted by Mrs. Myres, Mrs. Isherwood, Miss Wadsworth,
and the Bible woman, is held in a room of the Carlisle-street
school. The mothers are pretty lacteous and docile. In various parts
of the district, cottage lectures, conducted by the curate and a
number of energetic teachers, are held weekly. The district of St.
Paul's is great in missionary work. There are about four-and-twenty
collectors in the field here, and by the penny a week system they
raise sums which periodical efforts would never realise. By the way,
we ought to have said that there are a good many collections in St.
Paul's church--16 regular ones and 14 on the offertory principle--
every year. Those who consider it more blessed to give than receive
should be happy at St. Paul's. The sums collected at the church
range from about 12 to 50 pounds. The Irish Church Missionary
Society receives much of its Preston support from this district.
Lastly, we may remark that there is a good staff of tract
distributors, supervised by a ladies' committee, in connection with
St. Paul's. The distributors are chiefly young women belonging the
schools. Owing to the vastness of the district it is contemplated to
erect as early as possible a school chapel as an auxiliary of the
church. It will be built near the railway bridge in St. Paul's-road.
R. Newsham, Esq., has offered to give a handsome sum towards the
edifice, which is much needed. When opened a second curate will be
required, and towards the stipend of such gentleman, E. Hermon,
Esq., M.P., has offered to contribute liberally. The salary of the
incumbent is about 280 pounds per annum. The generality of the
officials connected with the church and schools have been long at
their posts--a proof of even action and good harmony; everything
seems to be progressing steadily in the district; and if St. Paul
himself had to give it a visit he would shake hands warmly with Mr.
Myres, the incumbent, praise Mrs. Myres and the baby, and throw up
his hat gleefully at the good work which is being done amongst the


"When shall we three meet again?" We can't tell--don't care about
knowing; you have met now; and keep quiet, if possible, whilst being
vivisected. There are worse companions, so shake hands, and sigh for
universal bliss. We shall use the dissecting knife with a kindly
sharpness. The first of the places named is situated in St. Mary's-
street, opposite a very high wall, which we believe is intended to
prevent men from scaling it, and is closely associated with the
arrangements of the House of Correction. One hundred yards off, it
looks like a high, modernised, seaside hotel; fifty yards off, it
seems like a well-arranged gentleman's residence, in the wrong
place; two yards off, it indicates its own mission, and clearly
shows that something embracing both education and religion is
carried on within it. It is a large, well-built, quadrangular
building, with two round-headed ranges of windows in front, and a
good roof above, surmounted with an iron rail, put up apparently for
imaginary purposes. Nobody has yet got over that rail so far as we
have heard; and if the job is ever attempted, nothing will be found
on the other side worth carrying home. The foundation stone of this
building--it is really a school chapel--was laid on Good Friday,
1866, and the place was opened in the same year. The place cost
2,500 pounds, and it is nearly out of debt. Internally, it is full
of rooms. On the ground floor there are nine apartments--all well
disposed, appropriately fit up, and set apart for general scholastic
and class purposes. On week days, some of them are used as school-
rooms, the average attendance of pupils, who are carefully looked
after, being about 120; and on Sundays they are devoted to "class"
business. In a large room above, children are also taught on
Sundays: the general attendance on those days throughout the place
being about 450. This school-chapel owes its existence to the cotton
famine. During that trying period, when people had nothing else to
do but think, live on 2s. a week, and grow good, Messrs. Wilding and
Strachan generously opened a room connected with their mill in New
Hall-lane, for secular and religious instruction. It was attended
mainly by those belonging the Wesleyan persuasion; in time it became
too little; and the result was the erection of a school-chapel in
St. Mary's-street. We have never seen a better arranged nor a more
commodious place of its kind than this. Its class, and ordinary
scholastic departments we have alluded to. Let us now proceed above-
-into the room used for worship. You can reach it from either the
northern or the southern side, but from neither can you make headway
without ascending a strong, winding series of steps, which must be
trying and troublesome to heavy and asthmatic subjects, if any of
that sort ever show themselves at the building. The room is large,
lofty, clean, and airy, and will hold about 400 persons. Just within
each doorway there is a box, intended for contributions on behalf of
"sick and needy scholars." But both have been put too near the side;
they often catch people's clothes, on entering, and as everybody is
not disposed to stop and exercise the organ of benevolence, whilst
the remainder wish to be judicious about the business and save their
dresses, it has been decided to shift them inwards a little. From
the centre of the ceiling, gas burners, in star-shaped clusters, are
suspended, and when the taps are on they give good lights.

The congregation, which is generally constituted of working-class
people, numbers about 350. The people attending this place are a
quiet, devoted lot, with patches of pride and self-glorification
here and there about them, but, on the whole, kindly-looking and
sincere. Some of them are close-minded and intensely orthodox; but
the majority are wide-awake, and won't pray for fair weather until
it has given over raining. The members of the choir sit on the
eastern side, and if not so refined and punctillious in their
musical performances, they are at least pretty strong-lunged and
earnest. They are located near the wall. The harmonium-player enjoys
a closer proximity to it. He manipulates with fair skill, has a
clock right above him, and ought, therefore, to keep "good time." If
he doesn't, then let the clock be condemned as a deceiver and
incumberer of the wall. The pulpit is a broad, neatly-arranged
affair--fixed upon a platform at the southern end, and environed
with rails of blue and gold colour. Just within, and on its
immediate left, there is a small paper nailed up with four nails,
and containing, is written English, these words, as a reminder for
each preacher during his "supplications"--"Pray for God's ancient
people of Israel." "Does this mean the Jews?" said we to an elderly
man near us, whilst we were scrutinizing with a plaintive eye, the
pulpit, and he replied, "Bleeve it does." That, we thought, was a
bad speculation for a chapel containing two subscription boxes for
"sick and needy scholars." The man who wrote out that exhortation in
the interests of Petticoat-lane men and their kindred, and the
patriot who drove with a fierce virtue the four nails into it
didn't, we are afraid, know clearly how much it costs to convert a
genuine Jew, else more caution would have been exercised by each of
them. A Jew's eye is a costly thing; but a Jew's conversion is much
more expensive; you can't get at the thing fairly for less than
10,000 pounds; and as five good Wesleyan Chapels could be built, in
ordinary districts, for that sum, we advise Wesleyans to go in for
chapels and not for Jews.

If the pulpit had not been a broad and accommodating one, in St.
Mary's-street Chapel, we should have been inclined to think that the
parson might have had a "walk round." There is just space enough in
front of the pulpit for a medium-sized gentleman to pass between it
and the front rails. In a moment of high dudgeon, a thin preacher
with a passion for "action" might easily flank off and traverse it
frontally; but an easy-minded individual would find plenty of room
in the pulpit, and if he did not, presuming he were stout, he would
have to "crush" considerably in order to accomplish a full circular
route. Beyond and in the immediate front of the pulpit rails there
is a circular seat. This we fancied, during our inspection, was the
"penitent form"--it seemed close and handy during a season of stern
excitement and warm eruption; but in a moment we were told it was
for "sacrament people," who patronise it in turns, on particular
Sundays. Two services are conducted on Sundays here by regular and
itinerent preachers; the former coming from Lune-street Chapel, and
the latter being furnished out of the general lay body. Nearly every
night throughout the week, class meetings, &c., are held in the
building, and they are conducted with much rapture and peacefulness.
How the Jew-converting business gets on we cannot tell--badly, we
imagine; but in respect to the ordinary operations of the place they
are successful and promise to be still more so. A chapel whose
members branched off from this place has been established at Walton.
About 12 months ago it was opened. A cottage situated on the road
side leading to the church constitutes the walhallah of Methodism
there, and the support accorded to it is increasing. We have no more
to say as to the St. Mary's-street mission. We hope it will go on
and agreeably grapple with the people in its own district whatever
may become of the Jews.

A mile and a half distant, on the other side of the town, and
quietly resting amongst the desolate premises once occupied by the
Preston Ship Building Company, at the Marsh End, there is a small
preaching place, wherein the Scriptures are expounded and the
doctrines of John Wesley duly inculcated. About two and a half years
ago a couple of cottages in this locality were "thrown into one,"
and arranged so as to moderately accommodate those caring about
religion, and willing to have it in a "good old Methodist" style.
There was considerable briskness of trade hereabouts at that time,
ships were made in the adjoining yards, the bubble of speculation
was being strongly blown, large numbers of strong-armed men, caring
more for ale in gallon jugs than either virtue in tracts or piety in
sermons, resided in the district, the population was rapidly
increasing, a new section of the town's suburbs was being strongly
developed, and there being drinking houses, skittle grounds, and
other accompaniments of a progressive age visible, it was considered
prudent to mix up a small Wesleyan preaching room and school with
the general confraternity of institutions in the locality. At the
beginning of this year, owing to the insufficient accomodation of
the premises, a portion of the pattern room of the Ship Building
Company, which in the meantime had resolved its organisation into
thin air and evaporated, was secured, and arranged in a homely
fashion for the required business. After passing through a small
door in the centre of a large one, leading to the shipyard, then
turning to the right, then mounting 18 steep awkward steps, and then
turning again to the right, you arrive at the place.

The moment we saw it we knew it. It was in this very room where
grand champagne luncheons used to be given after ship launches, and
where dancing and genteel carousing followed. The last time we had
business at this place we saw twenty-three gentlemen alcoholically
merry in it, six Town Councillors helpless yet boisterous in it,
thirty couples of ladies and gentlemen dancing in it, four waiters
smuggling half-used bottles of champagne rapidly down their throats
in it, an ex-Mayor with his hat, thrown right back, looking awfully
jolly, and superintending the proceedings, in it, and in an
adjoining room, now used for vestry purposes, three ladies in silk
velvet, wine-freighted, and just able to see, blowing up everybody
because their bonnets were lost. The place where all this "fou and
unco happy" work was transacted is now the school chapel of the
Wesleyans. The room wherein the congregation meet is bare, plain,
and primitive-looking, with an open roof, whitewashed all round, and
boarded off from a workshop at the southern end. Its "furniture"
consists of eleven forms, three stoves, a pulpit with no back, and a
chair. A strip of wood is placed across a window at the rear of the
chair, which is used by the officiating parson, and this wood
prevents him from breaking the glass if he should happen to throw
his head back sharply. On one side of the room there are 19 hat
hooks, and on the other 24. There are seats in the place for about
100. The members number about 20, and the average congregation,
entirely working people, and of homely, orderly character, will
range from 80 to 100. The room is connected with the Wesley circuit;
every Sunday there are two services in it; a meeting for religious
purposes is held each Thursday night; and the preaching is done by
"locals" and "regulars." The singing is neither good, nor bad, nor
indifferent; but a mixture of the whole three qualities. It is
accompanied by a small harmonium, played by a young lady in
moderately tasteful style. The services are simple and hearty, and
whilst there may be a little plaintive noisiness now and then in
them--a few penitent flutterings--they are generally, and
remembering the complexion of the congregation, respectably

"It's a regular bird nest, and you'll never get to it, unless you
ask the neighbouring folk," said a friend to us whilst talking about
the Revivalists' tabernacle. To the bottom of Pitt-street we then
went, and seeing two or three females and a man dart out of a dim-
looking passage beneath one of the side arches of the railway bridge
there, we concluded that we were near the "nest." Having sauntered
about for a few moments, and assured ourselves that this was really
the place we were in search of, we went to the arch, walked six or
seven yards forward, looked up a dark, tortuous, narrow passage on
the right, and entered it. In the centre of the passage there was a
hole, through which you could see telegraph wires and the sky, on
one side a grim crevice running narrowly to the top of the railway
bridge, and ahead a shadowy opening like the front of an underground
store, with a wooden partition, in the centre of which was a small
square of glass. Theseus, who got through the Labyrinth, would have
been puzzled with this mystic passage. We never saw such a time-worn
and dumfounding road to any place, and if those who patronise it
regularly had done their best to discover the essence of dinginess
and intractibility, they could not have hit upon a better spot than
this. A warm air wave, similar to that you expect on entering a
bakehouse, met us just when we had passed the wooden partition. In
the centre of the room there was a stove, almost red-hot. This
apartment, which was filled with small forms, was, we ascertained, a
Sunday-school. At the bottom end there were some narrow steps,
leading through a large hole into a room above--the "chapel." A fat
man could never get up these steps, and a tall one would injure his
head if he did not stoop very considerably in ascending them.

The chapel is about five yards wide, 15 yards long, very low on one
side, and moderately high on the other. It is plain, ricketty, and
whitewashed. The side wall of the railway bridge forms one end of
it. On the northern side, there is a door fastened up with a piece
of wood in the form of a large loadstone. This door leads to the top
of a pig-stye. The "chapel" will hold about 70. When we visited it,
the congregation consisted of 35 children of a very uneasy sort, 11
men, and five women. Every now and then railway goods trains kept
passing, and what with the whistling of the engines, the shaking
caused by the waggons, the barking of a dog in a yard behind, the
grunting of a pig in a stye three yards off, and the noise of the 35
children before us, we had a very refreshing time of it. The
congregation--a poor one--consists of a remnant of the Revivalists
who were in Preston last year, and it has a kind of nominal
connection with the Orchard United Methodists. The building we have
described was formerly a weaving shop or rubbish store. Its present
tenants have occupied it about twelve months. They are an earnest
body, seem obliging to strangers, are not as fiery and wild as some
of their class, and might do better in the town if they had a better
room. They have no fixed minister. The preacher we heard was a
stranger. He pulled off his coat just before beginning his
discourse. After a few introductory remarks, in the course of which
he said he had been troubled with stomach ache for six hours on the
previous day, and that just before his last visit to Preston he had
an attack of illness in the very same place, a lengthy allusion was
made to his past history. He said that he had been "a villain, a
gambler, a drunkard, and a Sabbath breaker"--we expected hearing him
say, as many of his class do, that he had often abused his mother,
thrashed his wife, and punished his children, but he did not utter a
word on the subject. The remainder of his discourse was less
personal and more orthodox. At the close we descended the steps
carefully, groped our way out quietly, and left, wondering how ever
we had got to such a place at all, and how those worshipping in it
could afford to Sabbatically pen themselves up in such a mysterious,
ramshackle shanty.


In this combination the past and the present are linked. Into their
history the elements of a vast change enter. One is allied with
"saintly days," followed by a reactive energy, vigorous and
crushing; the other is amalgamated with an epoch of broadest thought
and keenest iconoclasm; both are now enjoying a toleration giving
them peace, and affording them ample room for the fullest progress.
Unless it be our Parish Church, which was originally a Catholic
place of worship, no religious building in Preston possesses
historic associations so far-reaching as St. Mary's. It is the
oldest Catholic chapel in Preston. Directly, it is associated with a
period of fierce persecution. Relatively, it touches those old times
when religious houses, with their quaintly-trimmed orders, were in
their halcyon days. After the dissolution, caused by Henry VIII, it
was a dangerous thing to profess Catholicism, and in Preston, as in
other places, those believing in it had to conduct their services
privately, and in out-of-the-way places. In Ribbleton-lane there is
an old barn, still standing, wherein mass used to be said at night-
time. People living in the neighbourhood fancied for a considerable
period that this place was haunted; they could see a light in it
periodically; they couldn't account for it; and they concluded that
some headless woman or wandering gnome was holding a grim revel in
it. But the fact was, a small band of Catholics debarred from open
worship, and forced to secrete themselves during the hours of
devotion, were gathered there.

When the storm of persecution had subsided a little, Catholics in
various parts of the country gradually, though quietly, got their
worship into towns; and, ultimately, we find that in Preston a small
thatched building--situated in Chapel-yard, off Friargate--was
opened for the use of Catholics. This was in 1605. The yard, no
doubt, took its name from the chapel, which was dedicated to St.
Mary. There was wisdom in the selection of this spot, and
appropriateness, too--it was secluded, near the heart of the town,
and very close to the old thoroughfare whose very name was redolent
of Catholicity. Friargate is a word which conveys its own meaning.
An old writer calls it a "fayre, long, and spacious street;" and
adds, "upon that side of the town was formerly a large and sumptuous
building belonging to the Fryers Minors or Gray Fryers, but now
[1682] only reserved for the reforming of vagabonds, sturdy beggars,
and petty larcenary thieves, and other people wanting good
behaviour; it is now the country prison . . . and it is cal'd the
House of Correction." This building was approached by Friargate, and
was erected for the benefit of begging friars, under the patronage
of Edward, Earl of Lancaster, son of Henry III. The first occupants
of it came from Coventry, "to sow," as we are, told by an ancient
document, "the seeds of the divine word, amongst the people residing
in the villa of Preston, in Agmounderness, in Lancashire."

Primarily it was a very fine edifice, was built in the best style of
Gothic architecture, and had accomodation for upwards of 500 monks.
Upon its site now stands the foundry of Mr. Stevenson, adjoining
Lower Pitt-street. The Catholics of Preston satisfied themselves
with the small building in Chapel-yard until 1761, when a new place
of worship, dedicated to St. Mary, was erected upon part of the site
of the convent of Grey Friars. Towards this chapel the Duke of
Norfolk gave a handsome sum, and presented, for the altar, a curious
painting of the Lord's Supper. But this building did not enjoy a
very prosperous career, for in 1768, during a great election riot,
it was pulled down by an infuriated mob, all the Catholic registers
in it were burned, and the priest--the Rev. Patrick Barnewell--only
saved his life by beating a rapid retreat at the rear, and crossing
the Ribble at an old ford below Frenchwood. Another chapel was
subsequently raised, upon the present site of St. Mary's, on the
west side of Friargate, but when St. Wilfrid's was opened, in 1793,
it was closed for religious purposes and transmuted into a cotton
warehouse. The following priests were at St. Mary's from its opening
in 1761 until its close in 1793:- Revs. Patrick Barnewell, Joseph
Smith, John Jenison, Nicholas Sewall, Joseph Dunn, and Richard
Morgan. The two last named gentleman lived together in a cottage, on
the left side of the entrance to the chapel, behind which they had a
fine room commanding a beautiful view of the Ribble, Penwortham,
&c., for at that time all was open, on the western side of
Friargate, down to the river. Whittle, speaking of Father Dunn, says
he was "the father of the Catholic school, the House of Recovery,
and the Gasworks," and adds, with a plaintive bathos, that "on the
very day he left this sublunary world he rose, as was his custom,
very early, and in the course of his rambles exchanged a sovereign
for sixpences, for distribution amongst the indigent."

In 1815 the chapel was restored; but not long afterwards its roof
fell in. Nobody however was hurt, just because nobody was in the
building at the time. The work of reparation followed, and the
chapel was deemed sufficient till 1856, when it was entirely rebuilt
and enlarged. As it was then fashioned so it remains. It is a chapel
of ease for St. Wilfrid's, and is attended to a very large extent by
Irish people. The situation of it is lofty; it stands upon higher
ground than any other place of worship in the town; but it is so
hemmed in with houses, &c., that you can scarcely see it, and if you
could get a full view of it nothing very beautiful would be observed
about the exterior. The locality in which this chapel is placed is
crowded, dark-looking, and pretty ungodly. All kinds of sinister-
looking alleys, narrow yards, dirty courts, and smoky back streets
surround it; much drinking is done in each; and a chorus of noise
from lounging men in their shirt sleeves, draggle-tailed women
without bonnets, and weird little youngsters, given up entirely to
dirt, treacle, and rags, is constantly kept up in them. The chapel
has a quaint, narrow, awkward entrance. You pass a gateway, then
mount a step, then go on a yard or two and encounter four steps,
then breathe a little, then get into a somewhat sombre lobby two and
a half yards wide, and inconveniently steep, next cross a little
stone gutter, and finally reach a cimmerian square, surrounded by
high walls, cracked house ends, and other objects similarly
interesting. The front of the chapel is cold-looking and devoid of
ornament. Upon the roof there is a square perforated belfry,
containing one bell. It was put up a few years ago, and before it
got into use there was considerable newspaper discussion as to the
inconvenience it would cause in the morning, for having to be rung
at the unearthly hour of six it was calculated that much balmy
quietude would be missed through it. Some people can stand much
sleep after six, and on their account early bell-ringing was
dreaded. But the inhabitants have got used to the resonant metal,
and those who have time sleep on very excellently during its most
active periods.

The chapel has a broad, lofty, and imposing interior; but it is
rather gloomy, and requires a little extra light, which would add
materially to the general effect. There is considerable decorative
skill displayed in the edifice; but the work looks opaque and needs
brightening up. The sanctuary end is rich and solemn, has a finely-
elaborate and sacred tone, and combines in its construction elegance
and power. At the rear and rising above the altar there is a large
and somewhat imposing picture, representing the taking down of our
Saviour from the cross. It was painted by Mr. C. G. Hill, after a
picture of Carracci's, in Stonyhurst College, and was originally
placed in St. Wilfrid's church. St. Mary's will accommodate about
1,000 persons. All the pews have open sides, and there are none of a
private character in any part of the church. The poorest can have
the best places at any time, if they will pay for them, and the
richest can sit in the worst if they are inclined to be economical.

Large congregations attend this chapel, and the bulk, as already
intimated, are of the Milesian order. At the rear, where many of the
poor choose to sit, some of the truest specimens of the "finest
pisantry," some of the choicest and most aromatic Hibernians we have
seen, are located. The old swallow-tailed Donnybrook Fair coat, the
cutty knee-breeches, the short pipe in the waistcoat pocket, the
open shirt collar, the ancient family cloak with its broad shoulder
lapelle, the thick dun-coloured shawl in which many a young Patrick
has been huddled up, are all visible. The elderly women have a
peculiar fondness for large bonnets, decorated in front with huge
borders running all round the face like frilled night-caps. The
whole of the worshippers at the lower end seem a pre-eminently
devotional lot. How they are at home we can't tell; but from the
moment they enter the chapel and touch the holy water stoops, which
somehow persist in retaining a good thick dark sediment at the
bottom, to the time they walk out, the utmost earnestness prevails
amongst them. Some of the poorer and more elderly persons who sit
near the door are marvellous hands at dipping, sacred manipulation,
and pious prostration. Like the Islams, they go down on all fours at
certain periods, and seem to relish the business, which, after all,
must be tiring, remarkably well. Considering its general character,
the congregation is very orderly, and we believe of a generous turn
of mind. The chapel is cleanly kept by an amiable old Catholic, who
may, if there is anything in a name, be related to the Grey Friars
who formerly perambulated the street he lives in; and there is an
air of freedom and homeliness about it which we have not noticed at
several places of worship. Around its walls are pictures of saints.
They make up a fine family group, and seem to have gathered from
every Catholic place of worship in the town to do honour to the

There are sundry masses every Sunday in the chapel, that which is
the shortest--held at half-past nine in the morning--being, as
usual, best patronised. The scholars connected with St. Wilfrid's
attend the chapel every Sunday. Each Wednesday evening a service is
also held in the chapel, and it is most excellently attended,
although some who visit it put in a rather late appearance. When we
were in the chapel, one Wednesday evening, ten persons came five
minutes before the service was over, and one slipped round the door
side and made a descent upon the holy water forty-five seconds
before the business terminated. Of course it is better late than
never, only not much bliss follows late attendance, and hardly a
toothful of ecstacy can be obtained in three-quarters of a minute.
The singing is of an average kind, the choir being constituted of
the school children; whilst the organ, which used to be in some
place at Accrington, is only rather shaky and debilitated. During
the past ten years the Rev. Thomas Brindle, of St. Wilfrid's, has
been the officiating priest at St. Mary's. Father Brindle is a Fylde
man, is about 45 years of age, and is a thoroughly healthy subject.
He is at least 72 inches high, is well built, powerful, straight as
a die, good looking, keeps his teeth clean, and attends most
regularly to his clerical duties. He is unassuming in manner, blithe
in company, earnest in the pulpit. His gesticulation is decisive,
his lungs are good, and his vestments fit him well. Not a more
stately, yet homely looking, honest-faced priest have we seen for
many a day. There is nothing sinister nor subtle in his visage; the
sad ferocity glancing out of some men's eyes is not seen in his. We
have not yet confessed our sins to him, but we fancy he will be a
kindly soul when behind the curtain,--would sooner order boiled than
hard peas to be put into one's shoes by way of penance, would far
rather recommend a fast on salmon than a feast on bacon, and would
generally prefer a soft woollen to a hard horse hair shirt in the
moments of general mortification. Father Brindle!--Give us your
hand, and may you long retain a kindly regard for boiled peas, soft
shirts, and salmon. They are amongst the very best things out if
rightly used, and we shouldn't care about agonising the flesh with
them three times a week.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church stands on the eastern side of Preston,
and is surrounded by a rapidly-developing population. The district
has a South Staffordshire look--is full of children, little
groceries, public-houses and beershops, brick kilns, smoke, smudge,
clanging hammers, puddle-holes, dogs, cats, vagrant street hens,
unmade roads, and general bewilderment. When the new gasometer,
which looks like the skeleton of some vast colosseum, is finished
here, an additional balminess will be given to the immediate
atmosphere, which may be very good for children in the hooping-
cough, but anything except pleasant for those who have passed
through that lively ordeal. In 1860, a Catholic school was erected
in Rigby-street, Ribbleton-lane. Directly afterwards divine service
was held in the building, which in its religious character was
devoted to St. Joseph. But either the walls of the edifice were too
weak, or the roof of it too strong, for symptoms of "giving way"
soon set in, and the place had to be pulled down. In 1866, having
been rebuilt and enlarged, it was re-opened. In the meantime,
religious services and scholastic training being essential, and it
being considered too far to go to St. Ignatius's and St.
Augustine's, which were the places patronised prior to the opening
of St. Joseph's mission, another school, with accomodation in it for
divine worship, was erected on a plot of land immediately adjoining.
Nearly one half of the money required for this building, which was
opened in 1864, was given by Protestants. At the northern end of it,
there is a closed-off gallery, used as a school for boys. The
remainder of the building is used for chapel purposes. The exterior
of the edifice is neat and substantial; the interior--that part used
for worship--is clean, spacious, and light. At the southern end
there is a small but pretty altar, and around the building are hung
what in Catholic phraseology are termed "the stations." There is not
much ornament, and only a small amount of paint, in the place.

The chapel will hold 560 persons; it is well attended; and the
congregations would be larger if there were more accomodation.
Masses are said here, and services held, on the plan pursued at
other chapels of the same denomination. The half-past nine o'clock
mass on a Sunday morning is a treat; for at it you can see a greater
gathering of juvenile bazouks than at any other place in the town.
Some of the roughest-headed lads in all creation are amongst them;
their hair seems to have been allowed to have its own way from
infancy, and it refuses to be dictated to now. The congregation is a
very poor one, and this will be at once apparent when we state that
the general income of the place, the entire proceeds of it, do not
exceed 100 pounds a year. Nearly every one attending the chapel is a
factory worker, and the present depressed state of the cotton trade
has consequently a special and a very crushing bearing upon the
mission. A new church is badly wanted here; in no part of the town
is a large place of worship so much required; but nothing can be
done in the matter until the times mend. A plot of land has been
secured for a church on the western side of the present improvised
chapel, and close to the house occupied by the priests in charge of
the mission; but until money can be found, or subscribed, or
borrowed without interest, it will have to remain as at present.

The first priest at St. Joseph's was the Rev. R. Taylor; then came
the Rev. R. Kennedy; next the Rev. W. H. Bradshaw, who was succeeded
by the Revs. J. Walmsley and J. Parkinson--the priests now at the
place. Father Walmsley, the superior, who originally came from
Brindle, is a placid, studious-looking, even-tempered gentleman. He
is slender, but wirey; is inclined to be tall, and has got on some
distance with the work. He is thoughtful, but there is much sly
humour in him; he is cautious but free when aired a little. He knows
more than many would give him credit for; whilst naturally reticent
and cool he is by no means dull; he is shrewd and far-seeing but
calm and unassuming; and though evenly balanced in disposition be
would manifest a crushing temper if roughly pulled by the ears. His
first mission was at the Church of the English Martyrs in this town;
then he went to Wigan, and after staying there for a time he landed
at St. Joseph's. Father Parkinson is a native of the Fylde, and he
has got much of the warm healthy blood of that district in his
veins. He has a smart, gentlemanly figure; has a sharp, beaming,
rubicund face; has buoyant spirits, and likes a good stiff tale; is
full of life, and has an eye in his head as sharp as a hawk's; has a
hot temper--a rather dignified irascible disposition; believes in
sarcasm, in keen cutting hits; can scold beautifully; knows what he
is about; has a "young-man-from-the-country-but-you-don't-get-over-
me" look; is a hard worker, a careful thinker, and considers that
this world as well as the next ought to be enjoyed. He began his
clerical career at Lancaster in 1864; attended the asylum whilst at
that town; afterwards had charge of a workhouse at Liverpool; is now
Catholic chaplain of Preston House of Correction, and fills up his
spare time by labouring in St. Joseph's district. Either the House
of Correction or the poor mission he is stationed at agrees with
him, for he has a sparkling countenance, and seems to be thriving at
a genial pace. Both Father Walmsley and Father Parkinson have been
in Spain; they were, in fact, educated there. Both labour hard and
mutually; consoling each other in hours of trial, tickling one
another in moments of ecstacy, and making matters generally
agreeable. The schools attached to St. Joseph's are in a good
condition. They are well attended, are a great boon to the district,
and reflect credit upon those who conduct them. All the district
wants is a new church, and when one gets built we shall all be
better off, for a brighter day with full work and full wages will
then have dawned.


Not very far from the mark shall we be in saying that if this Church
were a little nearer it would not be quite so far off, and that if
it could be approached more easily people would not have so much
difficulty in getting to it. "A right fair mark," as Benvolio hath
it, "is soonest hit;" but you can't hit St. Mark's very well,
because it is a long way out of ordinary sight, is covered up in a
far-away region, stands upon a hill but hides itself, and until very
recently has entailed, in its approach, an expedition, on one side,
up a breath-exhausting hill, and on the other through a world of
puddle, relieved by sundry ominous holes calculated to appal the
timid and confound the brave. We made two efforts to reach this
Church from the eastern side; once in the night time, during which,
and particularly when within 100 yards of the building, we had to
beat about mystically between Scylla and Charybdis, and once at day
time, when the utmost care was necessary in order to avoid a mild
mishap amid deep side crevices, cart ruts two feet deep, lime heaps,
and cellar excavations. We shall long remember the time when, after
our first visit, we left the Church, All the night had we been in a
sadly-sweet frame of mind, listening to prayers and music, and
drinking in the best parts of a rather dull sermon; but directly
after we left a disheartening struggle amid mud ensued, and all our
devotional sentiment was taken right out of us. An old man,
following us, who had been manifesting much facial seriousness in
the Church, stepped calmly, but without knowing it, into a pile of
soft lime, and the moment he got ankle deep his virtue disappeared
amid a radiation of heavy English, which consigned the whole road to
perdition. For several months this identical road spoiled the effect
of numerous Sunday evening sermons; but, it is now in a fair state
of order. St. Mark's Church, is situated on the north-western side
of the town, between Wellington-terrace and the Preston and Wyre
Railway, and was opened on the 22nd of September, 1863. For some
time previously religious services were held on Sundays in
Wellfield-road school, which then belonged Christ Church, but the
district being large and of an increasing disposition, a new church
was decided upon. The late Rev. T. Clark, incumbent at that time of
Christ Church, promoted its erection very considerably; and when the
building was opened those worshipping in Wellfield-road school
(which was afterwards handed over for educational purposes to St.
Mark's) went to it. St. Mark's cost about 7,000 pounds--without the
steeple, which is now being erected, and will, it is expected, be
finished about the beginning of March next. It will be a
considerable architectural relief to the building, and will be some
guide to strangers and outer barbarians who may want to patronise it
either for business purposes or piety. The late J. Bairstow, Esq.,
left 1,000 pounds towards the steeple, which will cost about 1,250
pounds. In the district there are upwards of 6,000 persons, and not
many of them are much better than they ought to be.

St. Mark's is built in the cruciform style, is mildly elaborate, and
moderately serene in outline; but there is nothing very remarkable
about any part of it. Rails run round it, and on the roof there are
eight boxed-up, angular-headed projections which may mean something,
but from which we have been unable to extract any special
consolation. At each end of the church there are doors; those at the
back being small and plain, those in front being also diminutive but
larger. The principal entrance possesses some good points, but it
lacks capaciousness and clearness--has a covered-up, hotel doorway
aspect which we don't relish. It seems also to be very
inconveniently situated: the bulk of those attending the church
come in the opposite direction, and, therefore, if opposed to back
door business, which is rather suspicious at a church, have to make
a long round-about march, wasting their precious time and strength
considerably in getting to the front. The church, which is fashioned
externally of stone, has a brick interior.

A feeling of snugness comes over you on entering; small passages,
closed doors, and an amplitude of curtains--there are curtains at
every door in the church--induce a sensation of coziness; but when
you get within, a sort of bewildering disappointment supervenes. The
place seems cold and unfinished,--looks as if the plasterers and
painters had yet to be sent for. But it has been decided to do
without them: the inside is complete. There may be some wisdom in
this style of thing; but a well-lined inside, whether it appertains
to men or churches, is a matter worthy of consideration. There is an
uncomely, fantastical plainness about the interior walls of St.
Mark's, a want of tone and elegance all over them, which may be very
interesting to some, but which the bulk of people will not be able
to appreciate. If they were whitewashed, in even the commonest
style, they would look better than at present. Bands of cream-
coloured brick run round the walls, and the window arches are
bordered with similar material. The roof is amazingly stocked with
wood, all dark stained: as you look up at it a sense of solemn
maddlement creeps over you; and what such a profuse and complex
display of timber can mean is a mystery, which only the gods and
sharp architects will be able to solve. The roof is supported by ten
long, thin, gilt-headed iron pillars, which relieve what would
otherwise in the general aspect of the church amount to a heavy
monotony of red brickwork and sombre timber. On each side of the
body of the church there are four neat-looking three-light windows;
at the western end there is a beautiful five-light window, but its
effect is completely spoiled by a small, pert-looking, precocious
organ, which stands right before it. At each end of the transept
there are circular lights of condensed though pleasant proportions.

The chancel is spacious, lofty, and not too solemn looking. The base
is ornamented with illumined tablets, and above there are three
windows, the central one bearing small painted representations of
the "Sower" and the "Good Shepherd," whilst those flanking it are
plain. This chancel, owing to its good architectural disposition,
might, by a little more decoration and the insertion of full stained
glass windows, be made very beautiful. The Church is an extremely
draughty one; and if it were not for a screen at the west end and a
series of curtains at the different doors, stiff necks, sore
throats, coughs, colds, and other inconveniences needing much
ointment and many pills would be required by the congregation. Just
within the screen there is a massive stone font, supported by
polished granite pillars, and surrounded at the base by a carpet
upon which repose four small cushions bearing respectively on their
surface a mystic injunction about "thinking" and "thanking."

The Church will accommodate about 1,000. There are 500 free sittings
in it, the bulk being in the transept, which is galleried, and is
the best and quietest place in the building, and the remainder at
the extreme western end. All the seats are small, open, and pretty
convenient; but the backs are very low, and people can't fall asleep
in them comfortably. The price of the chargeable sittings ranges
from 8s. to 10s. each per year. The average congregation numbers
nearly 600; is constituted of working people with a seasoning of
middle-class individuals; is of a peaceable friendly disposition;
does not look black and ill-natured when a stranger appears; is
quite gracious in the matter of seat-finding, book-lending, and the
like; and is well backed up in its kindness by a roseate-featured
gentleman--Mr. Ormandy, one of the wardens--who sits in a free pew
near the front door, and does his best to prevent visitors from
either losing themselves, swooning, or becoming miserable. In this
quarter there is also stationed another official, a beadle, or
verger, or something of the sort, who is quite inclined to be
obliging; but he seems to have an unsettled, wandering disposition,
is always moving about the place as if he had got mercury in him,
can't keep still for the life of him more than two minutes at a
time, and disturbs the congregation by his evolutions. We dare say
he tries to do his best, and thinks that mobility is the criterion
of efficiency; but we don't care for his perpetual activity, and
shouldn't like to sleep with him, for we are afraid he would be a
dreadfully uneasy bed-fellow.

The organ gallery appears to be a pleasant resort for a few hours'
gossip and smirking. The musical instrument in it is diminutive,
rather elegant in appearance at a distance, and is played with
medium skill; but somehow it occasionally sounds when it should not,
sometimes gives a gentle squeak in the middle of a prayer, now and
then is inclined to do a little business whilst the sermon is being
preached; and a lady member of the congregation has put this
question to us on the subject, "Would it sound if the organist kept
his hands and feet off it, and attended to the service?" That is
rather a direct interrogation from so fair a source, and lest we
might give offence we will allow people to answer it for themselves
in their own way, after which they may, if inclined, communicate
with the vivacious beadle, and tell him to look after the organ as
well as the doors, &c. The singers in the gallery are spirited, give
their services, like the organist, "gratisly"--one of the wardens
told us so--and, if not pre-eminently musical, make a very fair
average ninth-rate effort in the direction of melody. They will
mend, we have no doubt, eventually--may finally get into the
"fastoso" style. In the meantime, we recommend careful reading,
mingled with wise doses of sal-prunel and Locock's wafers. On the
first Sunday in every month, sometimes in the morning and sometimes
in the evening, the sacrament is partaken of at St. Mark's church;
and, comparatively speaking, the number of participants is
considerable. The business is not entirely left, as in some
churches, to worn-out old men and sacredly-snuffy old women--to a
miserable half-dozen of fogies, nearly as ignorant of the vital
virtues of the sacrament as the Virginian old beldame who took it to
cure the rheumatism. At St. Mark's the sacrament takers consist of
all classes of people, of various ages, and, considering the
district, they muster very creditably.

The first incumbent of St. Mark's was the Rev. J. W. Green, who had
very poor health, and died on the 5th of October, 1865. Nineteen
days afterwards the Rev. T. Johnson was appointed to the incumbency
which he continues to retain. Mr. Johnson is apparently about 40
years of age. He was first ordained as curate of St. Peter's,
Oldham; stayed there two years and five months; then was appointed
curate of Pontefract Parish Church, a position he occupied for
nearly two years; subsequently took sole charge of a church at
Holcombe, near Bury; four months afterwards came to Preston as
curate of the Parish Church; remained there a considerable time;
then went to Carnforth, near Lancaster; stayed but a short period in
that quarter; and was afterwards appointed incumbent of St. Marks in
this town. Although not very aged himself be lives in a house which
is between 700 and 800 years old, and which possesses associations
running back to the Roman era. This is Tulketh Hall, an ancient,
castellated, exposed building on an eminence in Ashton, and facing
in a direct line, extending over a valley, the front door of St.
Mark's Church. With a fair spy-glass Mr. Johnson may at any time
keep an exact eye upon that door from his own front sitting room.
Nobody can tell when the building, altered considerably in modern
times and now called Tulketh Hall, was first erected. Some
antiquaries say that a body of monks from the monastery of Savigny,
in Normandy, originally built it in 1124; others state that the
place was made before that time; but this is certain, that a number
of monks from the monastery named occupied it early in the twelfth
century, and that they afterwards left it and went to Furness Abbey.
On the south-west of Tulketh Hall the remains of a fosse (ditch or
moat) were, up to recent times, visible; some old ruins adjoining
could also be seen; and it has been supposed by some persons that
there was once a Roman stronghold or castle here. Tulketh Hall has
been occupied by several ancient families, and was once the seat of
the Heskeths, of Rossall, near Fleetwood. The Rev. T. Johnson has
lived in it for perhaps a couple of years, and seems to suffer none
from either its isolation or antiquity. He thrives very well, like
the generality of parsons, and will be a long liver if careful. He
has what a phrenological physiologist would call a vitally sanguine
constitution--has a good deal of temper, excitability, and
determination in his character. You may persuade him, but he will be
awkward to drive. He has a somewhat tall, gentlemanly, elastic
figure; looks as if he had worn stays at some time; is polished,
well-dressed, and careful; respects scented soap; hates the smell of
raw onions; is scrupulous in his toilet; is sharp, swellish, and
good-mannered; rather likes platform speaking; is inclined to get
into a narrow groove of thought politically and theologically, when
crossed by opponents; is eloquent when earnest; talks rubbish like
everybody else at times; has a strong clear voice; is a good
preacher; is moderate in his action; has never, even in his fiercest
moments, injured the pulpit; has a refined, rather affected, and at
times doubtful pronunciation; gets upwards of 300 pounds a year from
the Church; has been financially lucky in other ways; has a homely
class of parishioners, who would like to see him at other times than
on Sundays; is well respected on the whole, and may thank his stars
that fate reserved him for a parson.

His curate--the Rev. C. F. Holt--seems to be only just out of pin
feather, is rather afraid of hopping off the twig; and needs sundry
lessons in clerical flying before he will make much headway. He is
good-looking, but not eloquent; precise in his shaving, but short of
fire and originality; smart in features, but bad in his reading; has
a very neat moustache, but a rather mediocre mental grasp; wears
neat neck-ties and very clean shirts, but often fills you with the
east wind when preaching. He is, however, a very indefatigable
visitor, works hard and cheerfully in the district, has, by his
outside labours, augmented the congregation, and on this account
deserves credit. He is neither eloquent in expression nor sky-
scraping in thought: but he labours hard amongst outside sinners,
and an ounce of that kind of service is often worth a ton of pulpit
rhetoric and sermonising bespanglement. At the schools in Wellfield-
road the average day attendance is 310; whilst on Sundays it reaches
470. The school is a good one; the master is strong, healthy, and
active, and the mistress is careful, antique-looking, and efficient.


Some good people are much concerned for the erection of new places
of worship in our large towns, labour hard for long periods in
maturing plans for them, and nearly exhaust their energies in
securing that which is held to be the only potent agent in their
construction--money. But this is an ancient and roundabout process,
and may, as it sometimes has done, terminate in failure. A stiff
quarrel is about the surest and quickest thing we are acquainted
with for multiplying places of worship, for Dissenters, at any rate;
and probably it would be found to work with efficacy, if tried,
amongst other bodies. Local experience shows that disputes in
congregations invariably end in the erection of new chapels. Show us
a body of hard, fiercely-quarrelsome religious people, and although
neither a prophet nor the son of one we dare predict that a new
place of worship will be the upshot of their contentions. We know of
four or five chapels in Preston which here been raised on this plan,
and those requiring more need only keep the scheme warm. It is not
essential that persons anxious for new sacred edifices should expend
their forces in pecuniary solicitations; let them set a few
congregations by the ears and the job will be done at once.
Deucalion of Thessaly was told by the oracle of Themis that if he
wished to renew mankind he must throw his mother's bones behind his
back. This was about as irreverent and illogical as telling people
that if they want more religious accomodation they must commence
fighting; and yet, whilst olden history gives some faint proof that
the Grecian prince was successful, in stone if not in bone throwing,
modern experience ratifies the notion that a smart quarrel is
certain to be followed by a good chapel.

There was a small feud in 1849-50 at Vauxhall-road Particular
Baptist Chapel, Preston, concerning a preacher; several liked him;
some didn't; a brisk contention followed; and, in the end, the
dissatisfied ones--about 50 in number, including 29 members--finding
that they had "got up a tree," quietly retired. They hired a place
in Cannon-street, which somehow has been the nursery of two or three
stirring young bodies given to spiritual peculiarity. Here they
worshipped earnestly, looking out in the meantime for a plot of land
in some part of the town whereon they could build a chapel, and thus
attend to their own business on their own premises. Singular to say
they hit upon a site adjoining the most fashionable quarter of the
town--hit upon and bought the only piece of land in the Belgravia of
Preston whereon they or anybody else could build a place of worship.
This was a little spot on the north-eastern side of Regent-street,
abutting upon Winckley-square, and freed from the restrictions as to
church and chapel building which operated in respect to every other
vacant piece of land in the same highly-spiced neighbourhood. Upon
this land they raised a small chapel, and dedicated it to Zoar.
Whether they did this because Zoar means little, or because it was
fancied that they had "escaped," like Lot of old, from a very
unsanctified place, we cannot tell. The chapel was opened in 1853,
at a cost of 500 pounds, one-fifth of which, apart from previous
subscriptions, was raised during the inaugural services.

As to the outward appearance of this chapel, not so much can be
said. It is built of brick, with stone facings; at the front there
is a gable pierced with a doorway, flanked with two long narrow
windows, and surmounted by a small one; above, there is a stone
tablet giving to the name of the chapel and the date of its opening;
on the left, calmly nestling on the roof, there is a sheet iron
pipe; and on the ground, at the same side, there are some good
stables. These stables do not belong to the chapel, and never did.
There is no bell at the chapel; but the name of Mr. Bell, who rents
the stables, is fixed at one side of it; and in this circumstance
some satisfaction may be found. The chapel has a microscopical,
select, sincere appearance; has no architectural strength nor
highly-finished beauty about it; is bashful, clean, unadorned; and
looks like what it is--the cornered-up, decorous, tiny Bethel of a
particular people. Its internal arrangements are equally sedate,
condensed, and snug. A calm homeliness, a Quakerly simplicity runs
all through it. Nothing glaring, shining, or artistically complex is
visible; neither fresco panellings, nor chiaroscuro contrasts, nor
statuary groups adorn its walls: if any of these things were seen
the members would scream. All is simple, clean, modest. The walls,
slightly relieved on each side by two imitation columns, are calmly
coloured; the ceiling, containing a floriated centre piece, is
plainly whitewashed; the gas stands have no pride in them; the
pulpit is small, durable, unpretentious. There are 22 deep long
narrow pews in the chapel, and they will accommodate 200 persons. A
small and rather forlorn-looking clock perches over the doorway, and
keeps time, when going, moderately well. In the south-western corner
of the building there is a mural tablet, in memory of the late Mrs.
Caroline Walsh, who gave 50 pounds towards the erection of the
chapel. If she had given 100 pounds probably two monuments would
have been raised to her memory.

Nearly all who visit the chapel are middle-class people. The average
attendance ranges from 70 to 80. There are 34 members at the place.
Half of those who originally joined it are dead. They did not die
through attending the chapel, but through ordinary physical ailment.
The congregation, numerically speaking, is stationary, at present.
Those attending the chapel profess the very same principles as the
Vauxhall-road Baptists, sing out of hymn books just like theirs, and
drink in with equal rapture the Philpottian utterances of the Gospel
Standard--the organ of the body. They have four collections a year,
and the hat never goes round amongst them in vain. Their pulpit is
specially reserved for men after their own heart. They will admit to
it neither General Baptists, nor Methodists, nor Independents; and
however good a thing any of the preachers of these bodies might have
to say, they would have to burst before the Zoar Chapel brethren
would find them rostrum accomodation for its expression. All
classes, they fancy, ought to mind their own affairs; and preachers
they consider should always keep to the pulpits of their own faith.
Although touchy as to preachers they are somewhat liberal as to
writers, and have a great fondness for several of the works of
Church of England divines. They esteem considerably, we are
informed, the writings of "Gill, Romaine, Hawker, Parkes, Hewlett,
and others belonging that church." There is a debt of 150 pounds
upon Zoar Chapel; and if any gentleman will give that sum to square
up matters we can guarantee that good special sermons, eulogistic of
all his virtues since birth, will be preached, and that a monument
will be erected to him in the chapel when he dies.

The first minister the Zoar Chapel people had, after their
secession, was Mr. D. Kent, a Liverpool gentleman who came over to
Preston weekly, for seven years, and preached every Sunday. He got
no salary, was content with having his railway fare paid and his
Sunday meals provided, and he gave much satisfaction. In the end he
had to retire through ill health. Mr. J. S. Wesson, who evaporated
quietly from Preston some time ago, followed Mr. Kent, and preached
for the Zoar folk six years. His successor was Mr. Edward Bates, of
Darwen, who visited the chapel every Sunday for 12 months, and then
withdrew. Since his departure there has been no regular minister at
the Chapel; and whenever one does come he will have to be a "Mr."
and not a "Rev." Particular Baptists don't believe in "reverend"
gentlemen--think none of them are really reverend, and that it is
presumption in any man, however sublimated his virtue or learning
may be, to sacredly oil up his name with any such prefix.

We have visited Zoar Chapel twice. It was exactly twenty minutes to
seven one Sunday evening when we first entered it. The lights were
burning, the blinds were drawn, and there were 23 people in the
place. In a pew on the left-hand side a little old man was holding
forth as to the "prodigal son." It was the first time he had ever
talked in the chapel, and he has never said a word since. He had a
peculiarly free and easy style. Sometimes he leaned over the pew
door, and beat time with one foot whilst talking; at other periods
he would stand back a little, push his right arm up to the elbow in
his breeches pocket, and scratch his leg quietly; then he would turn
half round, and look up; then make to the pew door again; then leave
it, and so on to the finish. He was an earnest, plain-spun sort of
individual, but he got through his parabolical exposition very
satisfactorily. We fancied he would afterwards ascend the pulpit,
which was lighted up; but he kept out of it, and nobody ever went
near it at all, except at the finish, when a man quietly walked up
the steps and put the gas out. We could not exactly see the force of
lighting the pulpit when nobody ever went into it; but others in the
place might, for there are shrewd men amongst them, and they may
have found out some virtue in lighting gas burners when they are not
wanted. The music we heard was moderate; the praying which followed
was mildly exhilarating.

When we turned into the chapel the second time--this was during a
forenoon service--there were located in it an elderly, fatherly,
farmerly man, who occupied the pulpit; eleven middle-aged men, with
subdued countenances; six young men with their eyes and ears open to
every move; nine blushing maidens with their back hair combed up
stiffly and their mastoid processes bared all round; nine matured
members of the fair sex with larger bonnets and more antique hair
arrangements; five little girls; four small boys; and seven singers;
making in the aggregate fifty-two. The person in the pulpit was, we
learned, a Fylde farmer; but he must at some time have lived in the
north, for he said "dowter" for daughter, "gert" for great, "nather"
for neither, "natteral" for natural, and gave his "r's" capital good
exercise, turning them round well, throughout his entire discourse;
and he cared very little for either singular or plural verbs. If he
got the sense out he deemed it sufficient. He spoke in a
conversational style, was more descriptive than argumentative, was
homely, discreet, and neither too lachrymose nor too buoyant. This
preacher, we have been told, was Mr. James Fearclough, of Hardhorn,
near Blackpool, who was the original organiser of the church.

The singers, who collected themselves around a square, conical-
headed table, in a shy-looking corner, gave vent to their feelings
without music books. They had hymns before them, and these they held
to be sufficient. Their performances were rather of a timid
character; but this might be to some extent accounted for by the
fact that the conductor was absent. When they started a tune they
sighed, blushed, held their heads down, and looked up shyly into
their eye lids; but when they had proceeded a little and got the
congregation into a sympathetic humour, courage came to them, and
they moved on more exactly and courageously. About a dozen preachers
have been tried since the pulpit was vacated by the Darwen
gentleman; but the exact man has not yet been found, and until his
advent the congregation will have to solicit "supplies," and be
content with what they can get. None of the members can preach;
nobody in the congregation can preach; and their only hope at
present consists in the foreign import trade. The congregation has a
homely, unpretentious, kindly-hearted, social appearance, and when
in the midst of it you feel as if you were at home, and as if the
tea things had only to be brought out to make matters complete.
There are no loud talkers, no scandal-mongers, no sanguine souls who
get into a state of incandescence during prayers or sermons here. A
respectable, homely, smoothly-elegant serenity dominates in it.

Two services are held in the chapel on Sundays, and on a Wednesday
evening there is a prayer meeting. A Sunday school, opened in 1855,
is held in the building, and is attended by about 50 children. At
present, the general business of the chapel is rather dull; and
there will be no perceptible improvement in it nor in the number
attending it until a regular minister is appointed. Listening to
stray sermons is like feeding upon wind--you may get filled with it,
but will never get fat upon it. We hope the Zoarists will by and by
be successful; that, having escaped to their present quarters, they
will keep them,--an effort has been once or twice made to purchase
the building for a public-house; and that they will never, like the
party who first fled to Zoar, become troglodytes.


With the district in which this Church is situated we are not much
acquainted. With even the Church itself we have never been very
familiar. It is in a queer, far-of unshaven region. Aged sparrows
and men who like ale better than their mothers, dwell in its
surroundings; phalanxes of young Britons, born without head
coverings, and determined to keep them off; columns of wives,
beautiful for ever in their unwashedness, and better interpreters of
the 28th verse of the 1st chapter of Genesis then all the Biblical
commentators put together, occupy its district. Prior to visiting
St. Luke's Church we had some idea of its situation; but the idea
was rather inclined to be hazy when we desired to utilise it; we
couldn't bring it to a decisive point; and as we objected to the
common business of stopping every other person in order to get a
perplexing explanation of the situation, the question just resolved
itself into one of "Find it out yourself." Exactly so, we mentally
muttered on entering Ribbleton-lane; and we passed the thirty feet
House of Correction wall to the right thereof, with an air of
triumph, redolent of intrepidity and independence. To the left of
the lane entered we knew St. Luke's was located; but doubt
overshadowed its precise whereabouts. The first street in that
direction down which we looked contained, at the bottom, six coal
waggons and a gate. Those unhappy-looking waggons and that serious
gate couldn't, we said, be St. Luke's. Another street to the left;
but at the end of it we saw only a tavern, some tall rails, and an
old engine shed. Convinced that St. Luke's was not here, we
proceeded to the head of the third street, and down it were more
rails, sundry children, a woman sweeping the parapet, and the gable
of a mill. At the extreme end of the next a coal office and a gate
met us. Number five street showed up the fading placards of a news
shop, and the cold stillness of a Sunday morning factory. Down the
sixth avenue we peered eagerly, but "more factory" met us. The
termination of its successor consisted of pieces of timber, three
arches, and some mill ends. We had hope as to the bottom of the
next; but it was blighted and withered in its infancy as we gazed
upon 25 tree trunks, a mill, and two tall chimneys. Additional wood,
an office, and an entire mill formed the background of the street
subsequently encountered. Extra mill buildings closed up the career
of the road beyond it; ditto beyond that; partially ditto
afterwards, the front of the picture being relieved by a few thirsty
souls, looking plaintively at a landlord, who stood with a rolling
eye upon door step, anxious to officiate as the "Good Samaritan,"
but afraid to exercise his benevolence. After this there would
surely, we thought, be something like the church we were seeking.
But not so; a swampy wide road and more of the irrepressible mill
element constituted the whole of the scene presented.

It is, however, a long lane which has no turning, and at last we got
to a small corner shop, below which were two clothes props, one
being very much out of the perpendicular, an open piece of ground,
numerous bricks in a heap, and a railed round edifice rising calmly,
sedately, and diminutively. This was St. Luke's--the shrine we had
been looking for, the Mecca we had been in search of. Plenty of
breathing space has the church now: on three of its sides there is
a wide expanse; but the cottage homes of England are steadily
approaching it, and in time the building will be tightly surrounded
by innumerable dwellings, whose occupants, we hope, will feel the
spiritual salubrity of their situation. St. Luke's has a serene,
minutely-neat exterior; is proportionate, evenly balanced, and
devoid of that tortuous masonry which some architects delight to
honour. It is a meekly-conceived, yet substantially-built little
church, with a rural placidity and neatness about it, reminding one
of goodness without showiness, and use without sugar-coated detail.
A modest spire, very sharp-pointed, rises above the tower at the
western side. At the angles of the tower there are pinnacles,
supported not by monstrosities of the common gargoyle type, but by
pleasant featured angels, duly pinioned for flying. There appears to
have been a "rage" for windows at this said western end. From top to
bottom there are fifteen; four being moderately large, and the bulk
of the remainder remarkably small.

The interior of the church is particularly plain; is stone-coloured
all round; has an unassuming, modestly-serious, half-rural
appearance; has no tablets, no ornaments, and no striking colouring
of any kind on its main walls. It consists of a nave (depending upon
fourteen arches) and two aisles. The centre is pretty high, has a
narrow, open roof, and is moderately crowded with timber. The sides
are small, but in sitting in them you do not experience that buried-
alive sensation, that bewilderment beneath a heavy ceiling
elaborated with hugely awkward prop-work and pillars, which is felt
in some church aisles. Here, as at St. Mark's, there is a strong
belief in the healthiness of red curtains at the various entrances.
The chancel is high and open, and has rather a bare look. Within it
there are three windows, filled in with stained glass, of sweet
design, but defective in representative effect. The colours are
nicely arranged; but with the exception of a very small medallion in
the centre, referring to the Last Supper, they give you no idea of
anything living, or dead, or yet to be made alive. The windows were
put in by the late T. Miller, Esq;, C. R. Fletcher Lutwidge, Esq.;
and J. Bairstow, Esq., and they Cost 90 pounds. At the western end
there are three stained-glass windows, which look well. The colours
are rich, and the designs artistic. Two of them, we believe, were
fixed in memory of the late Mrs. Winlaw. The vestry stands on one
side of the chancel, and in the doorway of it there is a red
curtain, intended to keep out the tail end of whirlwinds and
draughts in general. When we looked into this vestry, the idea
flashed upon us that its occupant must be a specially studious and
virtuous gentleman, for upon the mantelpiece there were 14 large
Bibles, surmounted by three sacramental guides. But earth is very
nigh to heaven, and when we saw a series of begging boxes flanking
the books, and a looking-glass, which must at some time have cost
tenpence, we retreated.

From the centre of the chancel, the church looks very imposing:
indeed, you get a full view of all its architectural details here,
and the conclusion previously arrived at, through what you may have
seen from other points--namely, that the edifice is simple, bucolic,
and prosaic--is entirely changed. The reading desk is a commendable
article, and with care will last a considerable period. The pulpit--
circular-shaped, and somewhat small in proportions--has a seemly
appearance; but it looks only a homely-built affair when minutely
inspected, and might be pulled in pieces quickly by a passionate
man. Two or three curious articles are associated with it. At the
base, there is quietly lying an aged gutta percha pipe, the object
of which we could not make out; and in the pulpit there is another
gutta percha pipe, with an elongated, funnel-shaped top, put up,
probably, for some very useful purpose--for whispering, or speaking,
or sneezing, or coughing--which alone concerns the preacher, and
need not be further inquired into by us. There is a thermometer
opposite the pulpit, which, probably, is intended to test the
atmosphere of the church, but which may, for aught we know, be
serviceable to the minister in moments of extreme mental coldness,
or in periods of high clerical enthusiasm. If he can regulate the
sacred temperature of either the reading desk or the pulpit by this
thermometer, and can, in addition, utilise the gutta percha tubes as
exhaust pipes, then we think he will derive a tangible advantage
from their presence. Near the entrance to the centre aisle there is
a somewhat handsome stone font, octagonal in shape, carved on four
of its sides, and resting upon a circular pedestal, which is
surrounded by eight small pillars. Not far from and on each side of
the font there is an official wand, carried at intervals, with a
decorum akin to majesty, by the beadle.

St. Luke's Church was opened on the 3rd of August, 1859; the cost of
it--land, building, and everything--being 5,350 pounds. The late J.
Bairstow, Esq., was an admirable friend of St. Luke's; he gave 700
pounds towards the building fund, and 6,000 pounds for the
endowment. The church will accommodate 800 persons. Three-fourths of
the sittings are free. The average attendance on Sundays, including
school children, is 250. Considering that there are about 5,500
persons in the district, this number is only trifling. When we
visited the church there were 280 present, and out of this number
160 were children. We fancied that the weather, for it was rather
unfavourable, might have kept many away, but when we recollected
that we had passed groups of men standing idly at contiguous street
corners, discussing the merits of dogs and ale, as we walked to the
church; and saw at least 40 young fellows within a good stone throw
of it as we left, hanging about drinking-house sides, in the
drizzling rain, waiting for "opening time," and talking coolly about
"half gallons," we grew doubtful as to the correctness of our
supposition. If men could bear a quiet drenching in the streets,
could leave their homes for the purpose of congregating on the sides
of parapets, in order to make a descent upon places essentially
"wet," we fancied that moderately inclement weather could not, after
all, be set down as the real reason for a thin congregation at St.
Lukes. The fact is, there is much of that religion professed by the
horse of Shipag in this district--working on week days and stuffing
on Sundays is the creed of the multitude.

The congregation worshipping at St. Luke's is formed chiefly of
working people. In summer the scholars sit in a small gallery at the
west end; in winter they are brought into 28 seats below it. They
seem to be of a rather active turn of mind, for in their management
they keep two or three men and a female hard at work, and continue
after all to have a fair amount of their own way--not, perhaps,
quite so much of it as three youths who sat before us, who appeared
to extract more pleasure out of some verses on a tobacco paper than
out of either the hymns or the sermon--but still enjoying a good
share of personal freedom, which children will indulge in. There is
a service at St. Luke's every Wednesday evening; but it is not much
cared for. Only about 30 attend it, and it is not known to what
extent they enjoy the Proceedings. The instrumental music of the
church has apparently been regulated on the Darwinian theory of
"selection." What it was at the very beginning we can-cannot say;
but towards the commencement it appears to have been emitted from a
small harmonium; then a little organ was procured, and it came from
that; then a large organ was obtained, and from that it now
radiates. Some day a still larger instrument may be procured; but
the present one, which used to do duty in Christ Church, Preston, is
a respectable, good-looking, tuneful apparatus; and it is played
with ability by an energetic, clerical-looking young gentleman, who
receives a small salary for his services. The members of the choir
manifest tolerable skill in their performances; but they lack power,
and are hampered at line ends by the dragging melody of the

The incumbent of St. Luke's is the Rev. W. Winlaw--a grave, sharp-
featured gentleman, who comes from the north, and, like all his
fellow-countrymen, knows perfectly well what time it is. Mr. Winlaw
was originally an Independent minister, and he looks like one to
this day. He was a fellow-student of the Rev. G. W. Clapham,
formerly of Lancaster-road Congregational Chapel, Preston, and now a
minister of the Church of England. Mr. Winlaw was the successor of
the Rev. J. H. Cuff (father of Messrs. Cuff, of this town), at an
Independent Chapel in Wellington. In 1855 he was ordained by the
Bishop of Manchester to St. Peter's, Ashton-under-Lyne. In 1867 he
came to Preston, as curate of St. Paul's, and in 1859 he was
appointed incumbent of St. Luke's. Mr. Winlaw is a slender,
carefully-organised, cute, sharp-eyed man; is inclined to be
fastidious, punctillious, and cold; is a ready speaker; talks with
grammatical accuracy and laboured precision; is rather wordy and
unctuous; can draw out his sentences to a high pitch of solemnity,
and tone them off in syllabic whispers; has an active physiognomical
expression--can turn the muscles of his face in all directions;
shakes his head considerably in the reading-desk and pulpit, as if
constantly in earnest; is keenly susceptible, and has strong
convictions; couldn't be easily persuaded off a notion after once
seeing it in his own light; seems to have smiled but seldom; has
sharp perceptive powers--looks into you with a piercing eye; cares
little for the odd or the humorous--has a strong sense of clerical
dignity; would become sarcastic if touched in the quick; is earnest,
cautious, melancholy, and felt-hatted; has good strategic powers;
can see a considerable way; is vigorous when roused, maidenly when
cool, cutting when vexed, meek when in smooth water; is generally
exact in composition, and clear in style; but preaches rather long
sermons, and has a difficulty in giving over when he has got to the
end. In one of his sermons we heard him say, after a five-and-twenty
minutes run, "In conclusion," "Lastly," and "Finally;" and we had
almost made up our mind for another sermon after he had "finished,"
but he decided to give over without preaching it. Mr. Winlaw, in the
main, is a fair speaker, with a rather eccentric modulation, is a
medium, gentlemanly-seeming, slightly-inflated, polished, precise
minister, who has earned the confidence of his flock, and the
goodwill of many about him. Like every other parson he is not quite
perfect; but he appears to be suitable for the district, and with a
salary of 300 pounds per annum is, we hope, happy. Day and Sunday
schools adjoin the Church. At the former, there is an average
attendance of 180; at the latter of 400. A capital library is
attached to the schools. Orange and other societies for the
maintenance of Protestantism, and the support of "Our glorious
Constitution," exist in connection with the church, and the members,
who are rather of the high-pressure type, enjoy the proceedings of
them muchly.


Preston has been developing itself for several years northwards.
There was a period, and not very long since, either, when nearly the
whole of the land in that direction was a mere waste--a chaos of
little hills and large holes, relieved with clay cuttings, modified
with loads of rubbish, and adorned with innumerable stones--a
barren, starved-out sort of town common, where persecuted asses
found an elysium amid thistles, where neglected ducks held high
revel in small worn-out patches of water, and upon which rambling
operatives aired their terriers, smoked in gossiping coteries, and
indulged in the luxuries of jumping, and running and tumbling; but
much of this land has been "reclaimed;" many dwellings have been
erected upon it; and in the heart of it stands Emmanuel Church--a
building which ought to have been opened some time since, which
might have been opened 90 days ago if two or three lawyers had
exerted themselves with moderate energy in the conveyancing
business, and which it is expected will be consecrated and got ready
for the spiritual edification of the neighbourhood in a few weeks.
The locality assigned to Emmanuel Church used to form part of St.
Peter's district; but that church having enough on its hands nearer
home, it was decided to slice off a portion of its area, and start a
new auxiliary "mission" northwards. Thomas Tomlinson, Esq., of
London, gave land at the end of Brook-street sufficient for a new
church and schools; subscriptions for the erection of the necessary
buildings were afterwards solicited; sums of money were promised;
but enough could not be obtained to carry out the entire work, so
the building committee, acting upon the sagacious plan that it is
easier at any time to lift a pound than a ton, concluded to make a
start by constructing schools. This was in 1865. After the lapse of
a short time the schools were completed, and up to the present (Dec.
1869) worship has been held in them.

The schools are strong and good; the principal room wherein the
religious services are held has a tincture of the ecclesiastical
element in its interior architecture; but either those who attend it
or those who exercise themselves about its precincts are of too
active a disposition, for nineteen squares of glass in its windows
are cracked, and this rather "panes" one at first sight. There were
about 240 persons, 80 or 90 being children, in the building when we
paid our Sunday visit to it.

The congregation was of the working class species. At the north-east
corner seven or eight singers, somewhat vigorous and expert in their
music, were stationed; a female who played a little harmonium was
near them; and in one corner, in a small pulpit run up to the wall
as tightly as human skill could devise, was a condensed Irish
gentleman, whom nobody seemed to know, but who turned out, in the
end, to be an Oswaldtwistle minister, who had exchanged pulpits with
the regular clergyman. He was a cute, well-educated little party;
but awfully uneasy--was never still--moved his head, arms, and body
about at the rate of 129 times a minute (we timed him with a good
centre-seconds watch), talked much out of the left corner of his
mouth; was full of rough vigour and warm blood; would have been a
"boy" with a shillelagh; and yet he got along with his work
excellently. We couldn't help smiling when we saw, during the
preliminary portion of the service, another surpliced gentleman join
him. Just when the lessons came on a stout, plump-featured, and most
fashionably-whiskered young man stepped into the pulpit, crushed the
little Oswaldtwistle party into the north-eastern Corner of it, and
poured out for about twenty minutes a sharp, monotonous volume of
sacred verses. The scene underwent further development when, during
the singing, both stood up side by side. The pulpit, would hardly
hold them; but they stuck well to its inner sides, cast tranquil
fraternal glances at each other, once threw a Corsican brother
affection into the scene, looked now and then fierce, as if feeling
that each had as much right to the pulpit as the other, and finally
marched off with a twinly love beaming in their eyes, to the vestry
adjoining, from which in a few minutes the Oswaldtwistle minister
emerged in a black gown, and entered the pulpit, whilst his
companion followed, in a buttoned-up black coat, to the front of the
communion rails, where he took a seat and became very quiet. The
sermon was briskly condemnatory of unbelief, for ten minutes, then
got immensely pungent as to Popery, and ended in a coloured star-
shower concerning the excellence of "the good old Church of
England." We couldn't help admiring the preacher's eloquence; and a
man who sat near us, and at the finish said, "Who is that fellow?"--
a rather vulgar kind of query--seemed to be fairly delighted with

The Church, in which the services will soon be held, stands close to
the school. It is a curious piebald-looking building; is made of
brick with intervening stone bands and facings; and is something
unique in this part of the country. In the south of England--
particularly in the metropolitan districts--such like buildings are
not uncommon; but hereabouts architecture of the Emmanuel Church
type seems odd. The edifice, although quaint, and rather poor-
looking at first sight, owing to its bricky complexion, will bear
close examination; indeed, the more you look at it and the better
you become reconciled to its proportions. In general contour it is
symmetrical and strong; in detail it is neat and compact; and,
whilst the colour of it may indicate some singularity, and strike
you as being eccentrically variegated, there is nothing in any sense
improper about the character of its materials, and as time goes on,
and familiarity with them is increased, they will cease to look
whimsical and appear just as good as anything else. The general
architecture of the building is of the early English type; the
design, &c., being furnished by Messrs. Myres, Veevers, and Myres,
of Preston. At the west end there is a rather prettily shaped tower,
surmounted at each corner with a strong stone pinnacle; the extreme
height being 100 feet. A few yards above the centre of the tower
there are angular projections--stretched-out, dreadful-looking
figures, a cross between vampires and hyenas--and you feel glad that
they are only made of stone, and in the next place that they are a
good way off. The man who carved them must have tightened up his
courage to the sticking point many a time during the completion of
these uniquely-unbeautiful figures. The principal entrance to the
church is at the western end, where there is a pretty gabled and
balconied porchway, elaborated with carvings, some of which are
being executed at the expense of patriotic youths, who pay for a
yard or two each, as they are in the humour, and expect an
apotheosis afterwards. The doors at this end open into an inner
vestibule, which is well screened from the main building, and may be
used for class purposes, the rendezvousing of christening parties,
or the halting plate of sinners, who go late to church, and hesitate
until they get desperate or highly virtuous before proceeding
further. In a corner at the north-west there is a beautiful
baptismal font, made of Caen stone, ornamented with emblematic
figures and monograms, and supported by four small columns of Leeds
stone. The font is covered up by a piece of strong calico, in the
shape of a huge night-cap, and the arrangement suits it, for however
closely covered down the cap may be, no grumbling of any sort is
ever heard. The building is cruciform in shape, and has a strong,
yet tastefully-finished, galleried transept, approached by
collateral doers, which also give ingress to the church on the
ground floor. The entrances are so arranged that everything in the
shape of that most objectionable of all things--a draught--is
obviated. It is expected that sufficient wind will be brought to
bear upon the question by the organ blower, without admitting
additional currents through the doors.

The church has a solid, substantial, well-finished interior, and the
only fault which can be found with it is, that it is rather low. If
the roof could be lifted a yard or so higher, the general effect
would be wonderfully improved; but it would be very difficult to do
this now; and we suppose the altitude, which was regulated by the
funds in hand during the process of building, will have to remain as
at present. But the lowness of the roof may have some compensating
advantages. If higher the church might have been colder, and its
sounding properties, which are good, might have been interfered
with. At present the space is condensed, and this tends to
concentrate both warmth, and what acoustical gentlemen term,
reverberation. The roof is strongly filled in with diagonally laid,
dark-stained timber, is open and semi-circular, but looks rather
heavy and gloomy. There are no huge ungainly pillars in the body of
the building; an easy, capacious freedom prevails in it; seeing is
not a difficult business; the first sensation which increases as you
remain in the church, is calmly pleasurable and satisfactory. There
is nothing flimsey, nor specious, nor whimsical in the place;
evenness and harmony of proportion; simplicity and solidity of
style, strength and straightforwardness of workmanship, strike you
as its characteristics. The pulpit, which is made of stone, and
approached by an internal staircase, adorned on one side with open
pillars, is most durable, and handsome in style. Every part of the
church can be seen from it; and several parsons might be
accommodated in it and the balcony immediately adjoining. The
reading desk is of carved oak, and, although rather small, has a
tasteful and substantial appearance. T. Tomlinson, Esq., who gave
the font, presented both the pulpit and the desk, and has likewise
given the ceremonial books. The lectern--strong, ornamental, and
weighty--is the gift of M. Myres, Esq. The chancel is tolerably
lofty and cheerful-looking. Good windows are inserted in it; but the
main one is inferior in design to those in the transept, and that at
the western end. Passages of scripture are painted round the arches
of the chancel and transept; the expense thereof having been
defrayed by Mr. Park, decorator, and Mr. Veevers, of the firm of
Myres, Veevers, and Myres. There is a neat dado round the church,
which was made at the expense of Mr. J. J. Myres. The seats in the
church are most conveniently arranged. They are well fit up, have
good sloped backs, and are so constructed as to accommodate either
large or small families in separate sections. Emmanuel Church, the
foundation-stone of which was laid on the 18th of April, 1868, by
Sir T. G. Fermor-Hesketh, M.P., has cost, in round figures, 6,000
pounds. It will accommodate 1,000 people, and all the seats, except
359, are free.

The church, considering its capacity and general finish, is thought
to be one of the cheapest buildings for miles round. Some time, when
the building fund has been replenished, a parsonage house will be
erected at the eastern end of the church. The schools which adjoin
are attended, during week days, by upwards of 220 scholars; and on
Sundays the attendance, including the various classes, with their
teachers, &c., will be about 450. There is a "Conservative
Constitutional Association" in connection with Emmanuel Schools. The
members meet in a building which was once a farmhouse, near the
church; they have for ever of courage; can discuss the great
concerns of the empire with ease and eloquence; are prepared at any
time to administer remedies for all the grievances of the five
divisions of the human race, as classified by Blumenbach; and would
be willing to sit daily, from ten till four, on the highest peak of
Olympus, and direct the affairs of the universe.

The minister of the church is the Rev. E. Sloane Murdoch; and we
dare say if the Cuilmenn of Erin, or the Book of the Uachongbhail,
or the Cin Droma Snechta, or the Saltair of Cashel could have been
consulted, his ancestors would have been found named therein. Mr.
Murdoch is a young man, hails from Derry, possesses a strong
constitution, has small, sharp eyes, and a very round head; has
remarkably smooth hair, brushed close to the bone, and well parted;
and is of a determined, active disposition. Following the example of
many other parsons, he likes a closely-buttoned coat and a walking
stick. He is sharp, quick in resenting aggressions, would soon have
his native blood stirred, is tempted to be a little imperious,
considers that he is a power in the district, has much endurance, is
systematical in thought, wary in expression, hesitates and flutters
a little in some of his sentences, has a strong Hibernian brogue,
but is precise with it; throws more recollection than original
thought into his utterances, visits his district well, is a fair
scholar, is dry and prosaic until warmed up, can feel more than he
can express, has little rhetorical display, seems as if he would
like to shake himself when at a white heat, gets 195 pounds a year--
135 pounds from Emmanuel Church, and 60 pounds for his services at
the workhouse--and would not find any fault whatever if the sum were
raised to 300 pounds. Mr. Murdoch was originally ordained curate of
a parish in the diocese of Kilmore, the father-in-law of the present
incumbent of St. Peter's, Preston, being bishop thereof at the time;
he stayed in the parish about a year; then went into the diocese of
Derry, taking a curacy near Coleraine, which he held for three
years; got a degree at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1858; was then
ordained by the late Bishop of Killaloe; came to St. Peter's,
Preston, as curate, in the spring of 1863; stayed there upwards of
three years; and was then agreeably translated to Emmanuel Church.
Mr. Murdoch is a very useful minister in the district, has striven
much to illumine the sinners thereof, is bringing them now to a very
fair state of enlightenment, and may in time get the whole district
into a bright state of sacred combustion.

At the bottom of Fishergate Hill, in Bird-street, there is a small,
clean-looking, pleasantly-formed building which, since the 14th of
October 1869, has been used as a chapel of ease for Christ church.
It cost 1000 pounds, was built conjointly by Mr. R. Newsham, Mr. J.
F. Higgins, and Mr. W. B. Roper in memory of the late J. Bairstow,
Esq., who left each of them several thousands; will accommodate
about 240 persons; is tolerably well attended; and is one of the
tidiest little places of worship we have seen. No effort at
architectural display has been made in its construction. It has a
brick exterior, has a comely little porch at the west end, is
surmounted in the centre by a turret, has several yards of iron
railing bending in various directions near the front, and will
require considerable protection, if its general health has to be
preserved. None of the windows have yet been broken, but we dare say
they will be by and by, for the neighbourhood possesses some
excellent stone-throwers; the Ribble has not yet flowed into it, but
it may pay one of its peculiar visits some day, for in this quarter
it is no respecter of buildings, whether they be chapels or public
houses. The edifice has a light, simple, unassuming interior. Chairs
seem to constitute the principal articles of furniture. There are
232 for the congregation, and 232 little red buffets as well, 11 for
the choir, one for the organ blower, and two for the parson. At the
top of each chair back there is a thick piece of wood on which is
plastered a printed paper, requesting the worshippers to kneel
during prayers, and to join in the responses. The paper also makes a
quiet allusion to offertory business, the defraying of expenses, and
the augmentation of the curate's salary. The chairs are planted down
the church in two rows, and they look very singular. The organ at
the south east corner is a pretty little instrument. A reading desk
on the opposite side, standing upon a small platform, suffices for
the pulpit. Behind there is a strip of strong blue-painted canvas
bearing a text in gilt letters referring to the Sacrament. Above
there is a three-light stained glass window. At the western end,
just under the doorway, a marble tablet is fixed; and upon it is an
allusion to the virtues of the late J. Bairstow, Esq., and to the
gentlemen who erected the building. The average congregation
consists of about 200 middle and working class people. The services
are generally conducted by the Rev. J. D. Harrison, curate of Christ
Church--a young gentleman who works with considerable vigour, and
never sneezes at the offertory contributions, however small they may
be. Mr. Harding, of this town, designed the building, which is a
homely, kindly-looking little affair--a bashful, tiny, domesticated
creature, a nursling amid the matured and ancient, a baby among the
Titans, which may some day reach whiskerdom and manhood.


"And now, finally, brethren." To the "beginning of the end" have we
got. The journey has been long and tortuous. When we have proceeded
forty inches further we shall stop. Not with the "last rose of
summer," nor with the "last of all the Romans," nor with the "last
syllable of recorded time," nor with the "last words of Marmion"--
the Mohicans are barred out--have we to deal, but with the last
place of worship, fairly coming within the category of "Our Churches
and Chapels." St. Mary's Church is situated in a huge, rudely-spun
district, known by the name of "New Preston." That district used to
be one of the wildest in this locality; "schimelendamowitchwagon"
was not known in it; not much of that excellent article is yet known
in it; and tons of good seed, saying nothing of manure, will have to
be planted in its hard ground before it either blossoms like the
rose or pays its debts. This district was originally brought into
active existence by John Horrocks, Esq., the founder of the Preston
cotton trade. Prior to his time there were a few people in it who
believed that 10s. a week was a good wage, and that Nixon's Book of
Prophecies was an infallible guide; but not before he planted in the
locality a body of hand-loom weavers did it show signs of commercial
vivacity, and begin to develope itself. Handloom weaving is now
about as hopeless a job as trying to extract sunlight out of
cucumbers; but at that time it was a paying air. Weavers could then
afford to play two or three days a week, earn excellent wages,
afterwards wear top boots, and then thrash their wives in comfort
without the interference of policemen. They and their immediate
descendants belonged to a crooked and perverse generation. Cock-
fighting, badger-baiting, poaching, drinking, and dog-worrying
formed their sovereign delights; and they were so amazingly rude and
dangerous, that even tax collectors durst not, at times, go amongst
them for money. Men of this stamp would be much appreciated at
present. The population has thickened, and civilisation has
penetrated into the region since then; and yet the "animal"
preponderates rather largely in it now. Rats, pigeons, dogs, and
Saturday night eye openers--toned down with canary breeding, ale-
supping, herb-gathering, and Sunday afternoon baking--still retain a
mild hold upon the affections of the people, and many of the
youthful race are beginning to imitate their elders admirably in all
these little particulars. A pack of hounds was once kept for general
enjoyment in "New Preston;" but that pack has "gone to the dogs"--
hasn't been heard of for years.

During the past quarter of a century what missionary breakfast men
call a "great work" has been done by way of evangelising the people
in this quarter of the town; and very much of it has been achieved
through St. Mary's Church and schools. For a very long period the
schools in connection with St. Mary's have formed an excellent
auxiliary of the church. Prior to the erection of the church,
scholastic work was carried on in some cottages on the north side of
what is now termed New Hall-lane. The scholars were then in the care
of the Parish Church. When St. Paul's was erected they were handed
over to it. Afterwards, when St. Mary's was raised, a building was
provided for them in a street just opposite, which has undergone
many alterations and enlargements since, owing to the great increase
in the number of scholars. The principal room of the schools is the
largest in Preston, with one exception--the assembly room of the
Corn Exchange. A little cottage-house looking place, up New Hall-
lane, constitutes a "branch" of the schools. The average week-day
attendance is about 900; whilst on a Sunday the gathering of
scholars is about 1,200. At the schools, on Sundays, there are male
and female adult classes; and on week-days a number of earnest
mothers meet therein for the purposes of instruction, consolation,
and pious news-vending. At the schools--we shall get to the church
and Mr. Alker by and by, so be patient, if possible--there is a
"Church of England Institute," under whose auspices innocent games
are indulged in, and periodicals, &c. read. A Conservative
association, established to guard the constitutional interests of
Fishwick Ward, also holds its gatherings in one of the rooms. The
Rev. Robert Lamb, a very energetic man, and formerly incumbent of
St. Mary's, gave the first great impetus to the schools, which are
the largest of their kind in Preston. Mr. Lamb is now at St. Paul's,
Bennett-street, Manchester, and, singular to say, he has worked up
the schools of that church until they have become the greatest in
the city. The late T. Miller, Esq., was a warm friend of St. Mary's
schools, and, whenever any extensions were made at them, he always,
on having the plans and estimates submitted to him, defrayed one-
third of the expenses.

St. Mary's Church stands just at the rear of the Preston House of
Correction. That is better than standing inside such a grim
establishment--any site before the insite (oh) of a prison; and has

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