St Michael & All Angels

This pretty timber framed church stands to the west of the village of Great Altcar, it has been described by Pevsner as 'an utterly charming church'.

About this church

The earliest record of a church or chapel on the site is in a lease dated 1429. In the 17th century the church is said to have been of timber and plaster but in the 1740s it was destroyed by fire and a new church was consecrated in 1747. This was said to have been a small brick building with a cupola containing one bell and a very plain interior. In 1878-79 that church was demolished and the present church was built by John Douglas at the expense of the 4th Earl of Sefton.

The church is half timbered on a brick plinth with a red tile roof. It has been suggested that timber framing was used not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because the foundations on underlying peat were not sufficiently stable for a stone building.

The communion rails, chancel rails, and pulpit were also designed by Douglas and are of carved timber. The reredos consists of painted tiles and depicts Christ breaking bread before Cleophas and Mary in the centre, St Michael on the left, and Euphrasia on the right. The only stained glass in the church is in the west window, dated 1885 and depicting the baptism of Jesus.

At the entrance to the churchyard is a lych gate dated 1879 which was also probably designed by Douglas. It is made of oak with a stone slate roof. The churchyard contains the war grave of an army officer cadet of World War II.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Fascinating churchyard

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

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Formby United Reformed Church

Our church was formed September 1881 as a member of the Congregational Union until 1972, when it became a church in the United Reformed Church.

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St Helen

Sefton parish church is one of the oldest Christian sites on Merseyside and is the only Grade I listed building in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton. The church received 3 stars in Simon Jenkins’ book ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’ in which he describes Sefton as ‘more than an oasis’. In 2009 Sefton Parish Church was awarded the Marque of Excellence by the North West Multifaith Tourism Association.

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