Tallest tower in Bolton opens its doors
VISITORS to Bolton Parish Church experienced the town’s best views — after climbing to the top of Lancashire’s tallest bell tower.
The bell tower tours were taking place as part of the church’s open day on Saturday.
The church, which opened in its existing form in June, 1871, also had organ music from Michael Pain and entertainment from Sacred Tudor Music throughout the day.
More than 90 paintings by the late Rene Rawcliffe, a former member of the congregation, were on display and on sale during the event, which tied in with the national scheme Heritage Open Days.
Mrs Rawcliffe left the paintings to the church when she died to help boost funds.
The Reverend Judie Horrocks, associate vicar, said: “It is a fantastic chance to open our doors to the community of which we are part of and which we serve and get them to have an insight into some of the things we do here.
“Saturday was also the first time I had been up the bell tower where you get to see across the whole of Bolton. You get a feel of how central the church is to Bolton even though the town has moved further away.
“Open days are always a good opportunity to meet new people and build relationships. Quite often it allows us to meet with people who want to get married at the church or have their child baptised at the church. People of all ages attended.”
The building, which is a fine example of Victorian Gothic style, was built as a replacement for its 15th century predecessor.
David Morlidge, deputy church warden, said: “We open the church regularly, especially on heritage days. We had quite a number of people on Saturday. We had three tower tours. People thoroughly enjoyed the tower towers.
“There is 192 steps to the top of the church tower — it’s the tallest in Lancashire. The views from the top are just magnificent. Some people said they have always lived here but never been into the church. They have been gobsmacked when they have come inside.”
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