HISTORY of THE FONT & COVER
Image of the Font at Gawsworth St james in early 1970, before the Font Cover was fitted.
Note: the Choir vestry screen does not extend up to the roof but is open to the Church
The Font Cover
Extract from a letter to Registrar of the Dioceses of Chester by the Reverend Francis H. House, on the 14th July 1970.
"Mr Raymond Richards of Gawsworth Hall, well known as an antiquarian and historian of Cheshire Churches, was offered the possibility of acquiring the Font Cover from the redundant Church of St. Margaret, Burton-on-Trent in the Diocese of Lichfield. The font cover was said to have been designed by Bodley.
Having carefully measured the cover and and having found that it was almost an exact fit for the 15th century font in Gawsworth Church, Mr Richards very generously offered to present it to the Church"
The Font cover shown just after its arrival in 1970
Note: You can see the roof over the Choir vestry screen and there is no wooden bench seat behind the Font.
Font cover shown here just after fitting.
Note: the original font cover on the floor to the left, also of note on the left is one of the two Wardens Chairs which were stolen.
ST. MARGARET'S (Gawsworth's Font Cover came from this Church)
On the opening of St. Paul's church in 1874 the original wooden mission church was moved from Borough Road to the south-east side of Shobnall Street. The building was replaced in 1881 by St. Margaret's church built on the same site and paid for by Michael Thomas Bass. He also paid for the endowment for a curate and for a Sunday-school building which was opened behind the church in 1882.
Services at St. Margaret's were Anglo-Catholic, provoking in 1904 a complaint from Evangelicals in the town about 'illegal and idolatrous practices' and a protest at eucharistic ritual from four 'Wycliffe' or 'Kensitite' preachers. Nuns of the order of the Sisters of Bethany assisted in the parish, occupying a house next to the church from 1897 to 1927. The church, which remained a chapel of ease to St. Paul's and which was never assigned its own district, was closed in 1967 and demolished in 1970.
The brick church, designed in a lancet style by Reginald Churchill of Burton, consisted of an apse, a chancel with north and south vestries for clergy and choir, a nave of five bays with clerestory, north and south aisles, a western narthex with gallery above, and a bell turret with a single bell. Above the reredos there were paintings on slate illustrating the Te Deum; Lord Burton added several other panel paintings illustrating