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History of Rivington Parish Church

Rivington village lies at the northern edge of the Diocese and consists of a few houses clustered around the village green.  In addition to the church and the church hall there is a Unitarian chapel, a bowling green, and the primary school attended by over 100 children, many from outside the parish. Rivington covers an area of 2768 acres, about half of which is moorland .   The village lies under the Pike which was last manned in 1588 for the Spanish Armada’s attempt to invade the country but which dates from the 8th or 9th century.  In the valley below is a series of five reservoirs, constructed in the latter half of the nineteenth century to supply water to the city of Liverpool.  These now have taken in the appearance of picturesque lakes and are a source of great attraction.  Anglezarke Moor lies to the north of Rivington and together with Rivington village and its moorland, forms the Parish of Rivington.  The area has been inhabited for at least 9000 years (since 7000 B.C.); in order to put that into perspective, it should be pointed out that Stonehenge has been carbon dated to 1845 B.C.  The whole district is one of great scenic beauty and interest attracting thousands of visitors each week for whom there is a great need of mission and ministry.

First Signs of a Church in Rivington

The origins of the church are lost in antiquity but we believe that there has been a church on the present site since Saxon times. About a quarter of a mile from the church are two Saxon Barns and there is a Saxon font in the church itself.  The first inhabitants of Rivington were probably baptised into the Christian faith in 666. The church was rebuilt in 1540 by Richard Pilkington and consecrated in 1541. The lintels over the windows on the north and south side of the nave differ, those on the north are flat whereas those on the south are arched and cut from solid stone, a Saxon feature. The stained glass windows are Victorian and were installed by the firm of John Hardman of Birmingham who had some of their work designed by Edward Burne-Jones.  In 1666 the chancel and two porches were added.

Rivington Church today

Since that time, although there have been some changes made to the interior, the church has remained the same size until this year when a new extension was added to the west end.  Our thriving congregation has meant that we were urgently in need of more space and the new building houses a reception and display area, a toilet and a small kitchen   

This no ordinary extension stuck onto the end of the church.  It is a beautiful building fit to serve as a gateway to the house of God.  Like King Solomon, we have been privileged to build to the glory of God.  Only the finest materials have been used; we have erected an entrance that will stand as a witness to the love and devotion of his people and it will offer a heart warming welcome to all who set foot in this holy place, for generations to come.