All Saints' Church Hut

From September 2002 Parish Magazine,
Canon Lovett (the vicar just before the war) had long dreamed of a second church in the parish, to serve the growing population at its eastern edge. An appeal was launched in 1938, but Canon Lovett moved on and then the outbreak of war postponed the dream. Anew vicar (Canon Martin) arrived in October 1939 and a courageous decision was made to erect a temporary wooden building as a start.

At first the wartime 'authorities' banned the use of precious timber for this purpose, but the parish persisted and the timber sections were delivered in December 1939. Severe weather and other 'innumerable difficulties' caused a month's delay before work could begin, but services began in February 1940. The total cost was £728 17s. 5d, all found by the diocese. The chalice and patten bought into use was one of two presented to Prescot that year by the Bishop and formerly given by the Gladstone family to St. Thomas, Toxteth Park.

Curiously, although Canon Lovett had always intended the new venture to be called All Saints', in the first months of its life it was always referred to as 'The Church Hut, or 'The Hut' and a 'Hut Committee' was formed to supervise its affairs.

In December 1940 the new vicar was called up and moved to London for the duration and responsibility for All Saints' Mission (as it now came to be called) fell on one of the curates (The Revd Harry Bradshaw). How hard he obviously worked! There was an unholy row when he introduced altar servers there, but quite undaunted he dared to suggest in October 1941 that when a permanent church replaced All Saints', it might become the parish church, with the one subordinated to it!

When the time came for the permanent church to be built, further population growth took it to the Bryer Road site and the much loved 'Hut' was left to continue its noble service for another half century! Thank you, All Saints' and all who have worshipped and worked under your roof!

From August 2002 Parish Magazine,

The Church Council met with heavy hearts on 16 July 2002, knowing that a proposal to close All Saints' Church was on the agenda. In the end, after a careful discussion and many expressions of deep sadness, members took the view that the decision now had to be made.

It was agreed that services there should cease at the end of July. However, in order to give thanks for all that All Saints' has achieved, there will be a Special Evensong at 3.00 pm on Sunday 2nd September.

At the PCC Meeting there was a vivid awareness that many people in the room (including all four churchwardens) had begun their parish involvement at All Saints' and that we owe a big debt of gratitude to those who, down the years, have taught and led the worship there.

It had been intended that All Saints' would be closed when St Paul's Church was built, but somehow no-one ever had the heart to do it. Church buildings always come to be loved. This is as true for a temporary wooden building as it is for a 'Grade I listed' parish church. When that church is a place where generations of children have received their grounding in the faith, the love grows all the stronger.

All Saints' has made an outstanding and unforgettable contribution to our parish life. We all understand that its loss will be mourned. We will be working to ensure that the existing congregation is enfolded into the life and worship of the parish church. We must ensure, too, that the emphasis on children's learning and children's worship (for which All Saints' was such a beacon) remain right at the heart of our parish policy.

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