Julie's Genealogy & More

 Sefton Church



The following is a "curiosity" only, since our family line

is NOT connected with the Molyneaux family in any way.

It does make interesting reading, though!

St. Helenas Church at Sefton lays claim to a high antiquity; and, in a dateless deed, transcribed into the Chartulary of St. Mary's, Lancaster, it is distinctly named. Tradition, or evidence, perhaps carefully perpetuated though now inaccessible, has uniformly assigned the year 1111 as that of its foundation; but it is certain that it existed in 1291, being then estimated, in the Valor of Pope Nicholas, at 26, 19s. 4d. The ancient structure having become decayed, the principal part was taken down and rebuilt by Andrew Molyneux, rector of the parish in the reign of Henry VIII.; and the following description of its interesting appearance during the last century is given by an eye-witness: "

 Sefton appears to have been built in the politer ages of Gothic architecture, and adorned with a very handsome spire-steeple, which is a pleasing object round the adjacent country. Nothing is wanting to render its external appearance a beautiful model in its kind, but to exchange the four ill-disposed heavy pinnacles on the tower for others more light and detached from the loft of the spire. Strangers on entering the church are struck with the grandeur of its workmanship, particularly the choir, wherein are sixteen stalls, adorned with very curious carvings, also a canopy, of extraordinary beauty for the time of its erection, which though now (1774) going to decay, conveys an idea of its being of more splendour, when its neighbouring lord preserved this decoration with pious care. 

Sefton Church, dedicated to St Helen. A church has stood here since at least 1170 when a Decorated Norman Church is known to have existed. The tower dates from the early 14th century and the nave and chancel were rebuilt in about 1500. The church is sometimes referred to as the Cathedral of the Fields or the Jewel of South West Lancashire because of its grand scale. The church boasts fine wood carvings, brasses and memorials. Among those buried here are the Molyneux Family from Sefton and Croxteth, the Blundells of Crosby and Ince Blundell, and John Sadler who discovered the secrets of transfer printing on pottery. Nicholas Blundell, the Diarist Squire of Little Crosby, was Churchwarden here in the early 18th century. The church's most famous Rector was one Parson Nutter who was called The Golden Ass by Queen Elizabeth