St Michael’s - The Past

The Church is Grade 2* listed.

Richards describes the church

as "the one building, in a

depressing town, which is

mellow and dignified".  That

might be overstating things

somewhat but Pevsner

describes the Church as “impressive”.

There has been a Church on this site since the middle of the

twelfth century, but the only remains of that building are the two easternmost pillars on each side of the nave, which show very clearly the transition from Norman to early English style.

The chancel and the nave were rebuilt in the early fourteenth century, so the Church is mainly perpendicular in style.  The fine carved capitals of the octagonal nave piers are considered particular worthy of note.

The Tower, the nave clerestory, the two storey porch and the Lady Chapel at the east end of the south aisle were all added in the fifteenth century. While the Bostock (otherwise known as the Kinderton) Chapel was built by Baron Kinderton in the sixteenth century.

The timber roof of the chancel was originally built by Sir William Brereton in 1621 and then replaced by a new copy of the original design in 1951.

The oldest monument in the Church is found on the wall in what is currently the Vicar’s vestry, in memory of Elizabeth Venables the wife of the then Baron Kinderton, and dated 1591.

There are parish registers dating back to 1604 and Church wardens registers dating to 1636. The oldest Church plate 1609. Four of the eight bells in the Tower have a date of 1711.

Please note that all registers are held by the Cheshire Records Office in Chester and any enquiries about family history before 1995 should be directed to the records office direct.

The fabric has suffered greatly at the hands of both friend and foe.  In 1642/3 during the English Civil War battles took place in and around the building.  Overall the Royalists were routed by the Parliamentarians and it is believed over 200 people died in two battles. The scars of battle can still be seen in the walls of the Church.

The panels of the choir stalls and the chancel screen have nice carvings mounted on them thought to be Flemish in origin.  

But the piece de resistance is the carved Jacobean screen with the carved arms of the Venables family dates 1632. These are currently located under the Tower, but it is hoped at some stage to bring them out and place them in the main body of the Church.  The Venables family crest depicted a dragon with a baby in its Jaws.  The legend says that during the Middle Ages the people of Moston were terrorised by a dragon that lived in Bache pool.  Thomas Venables, then went out and shot an arrow into the beasts eye just as it was about to devour a child.  The wound not proving fatal, Thomas “with other weapons manfullie slew him!”

St Michael’s – The present

St Michael’s is a busy parish church which has, since the year 2000, increased the size of the worshipping congregation, introduced new styles of worship and teaching, developed a thriving family ministry, nurtured good relationships with the local community and engaged in innovative community enterprises. We want to grow further, not only in numbers but also in depth of faith.

The churchmanship of St Michael’s has historically been broadly traditional, using Common Worship for the services with robed clergy and choir. Since 2000, we have been evangelically led, and our policy has been to preserve the best of the past to serve those who find this style of worship helpful, while introducing contemporary services to attract a new and younger congregation, and providing all the congregations with biblically based preaching and teaching. We seek to be, in the words of our Mission Statement ‘Committed to Discipleship, effective in Mission, and faithful in Stewardship’.

We want to be a welcoming place for people of every background and place on the journey of faith.  Our services are listed on this website, and you can also meet us by coming to our Church Centre, Number 28 Hightown, which is opposite the Church door and is ‘open house’ for a drink and a chat between 10am and 2pm every weekday.

We regularly hold courses of one sort or another for enquirers, those seeking to be disciples and those wanting to develop their knowledge of the scriptures.

Why don’t you join us?

St Michael’s – The Future

We are engaged in a Restoration Project for the Church building – there are details elsewhere on this website.  The aim of this project is to improve the facilities in the building and to make repairs and improvements to the building fabric so that it remains structurally sound and an attractive part of Middlewich’s heritage in the decades to come.

Our vision is simply to do what we are doing – just better. We are committed to proclaiming Jesus, praying together and to seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We acknowledge that we won’t always get things right but we’ll keep on trying.

Why don’t you come and help us?