In the 1890’s in an expanding area of Blackpool, a ‘tin tabernacle’ was built. The life of the church was built up until it was too small to hold the congregation, and so the Parish Church of St. Paul, North Shore, came into being.
St. Paul’s has had its ups and downs, but some of the same spirit can still be seen in the parishioners that is not so very different from those of nearly 120 years ago. We hope that all who read this will be impressed by the devotion of those who have helped to maintain its worship and fabric over the years. We are all grateful to the founders of the church who have left us a legacy of fellowship, and we salute the present generation of church members who still do so much for our church.
The first foundation stone of the new church (now the St. Paul’s Medical Centre), was laid on September 26th 1897 by Mr W J Galloway MP, who was presented with a silver trowel. This was given back to the church some years ago.
Within our Worship Centre and still in regular use are two chairs that were made from timber that was salvaged from Nelson’s flagship ‘The Foudroyant’ that was wrecked here on the beach in Blackpool during a storm in 1897. Many other artefacts made from the remains of the ship can be readily found in the town.
For all at St. Paul’s, all was going well and in 1905 there were 659 Easter communicants and the Sunday School had expanded to 300 pupils. There were no side rooms in the church hall so accommodation was very tight.
1926 saw electric lighting installed and the old gas lighting removed. The extensions to the church hall came in 1931.
Again in 1939 the church hall was used once again for war work, this time as a school for evacuees, and one of our present congregation can remember the children being brought into the hall before being ‘chosen’ by their foster parents.
After the war, life began to return to a form of normality, and our parish branch of the Mothers Union (see separate page) was born, and is still going strong today with meetings twice a month.
Still in use today are communion silver and pieces of furniture that has been donated by parishioners over the years. Some of the furniture was made by the firm of Robert Thompson and each piece has their trademark carved on it – a mouse!
Visits to our Worship Centre can be arranged by contacting one of our Wardens, who will be pleased to give you more information about our history.