Over seven hundred years ago, Up Holland Church was built for the benefit of this community. During its history, it has served as a place of learning, a monastery and as a parish church. It has survived many upheavals - from the Wars of the Roses, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the English Civil War, Georgian and Victorian re-orderings and two World Wars! It was the first home of the Up Holland Grammar School (with classrooms in the tower) and as such was the beginning of what was to become Winstanley College.
Visitors come from all over the world. They come to see the grave of Highwayman George Lyon, one of the last men to be hanged for Highway Robbery in April 1815. To see the Chancel, built by the family of Robert Daglish, a wealthy mining engineer who is buried near the church. They come to see the place Ellen Wheeton wrote about in her letters and diary, two hundred years ago. Many visit to see the beautiful stained glass windows. The church’s photo is the heading for the Up Holland News and Events Facebook page and is often included in photos of the village…..suggesting it is a really important symbol of Up Holland life.
During its time our church has been at the centre of for many at Baptisms, Confirmations, Weddings, Renewal of Vows, Blessings, Funerals, Special Anniversaries, Commemorations, marking local and national events. A place where people gather on Sundays and for Christmas, Easter and Harvest. There have been lots of community events, here: Medieval Fayres and experiences, Victorian Fayres, Flower Festivals, concerts and performances. Today we welcome Toddler groups, groups for lunch, coffee and tea, teams of bell ringers, choirs, flower arrangers, gardeners, artists, photographers, U3A groups and historical societies to name just a few! And we would like to continue to expand the variety of events and activities hosted here.
We want to ensure that this beautiful building continues to be a place of welcome and to be seen as an important centre in this area, where people can come to visit for a whole host of reasons. We are hoping that you and many others will add your names to those who have done what they can to help this place remain an integral part of the community. We are seeking your help and support in helping us to realise our plans for the benefit of all.
How can you help?
Since July 2018, we have opened the church during the daytime and we have seen many coming to enjoy looking at historical features, having the space to relax and reflect, to play with children in the play area, to have chat over a cuppa.
We recognise the need to do much more and we have lots of ideas to turn our ancient church into the community building it was designed to be seven hundred years ago.
We have suggestions for a library, a Post office, an all-day café, a community cinema, increased space for family activities and all-age groups. We want to offer the space for rehearsals and as a venue for musical societies, bands, drama groups and a lot more. We are planning to install installation WiFi and access to the internet, so we can significantly expand our plans.
We now need you, as local residents to help us by telling us your own thoughts and ideas.
What would you like to see happening in the Up Holland area?
What would make our community and local area better?
What would you like to see Up Holland Parish Church doing and providing?
For this reason we are trying to involve as many local people as we can to complete a short survey. You can do this in a number of ways:
Online at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XYJ3YR6
Use this QR Code:
Put your completed survey in the dedicated box in church.
Return your survey to:
St Thomas the Martyr Development Group,
The Rectory, 1a College Road,
Up Holland, Skelmersdale.
Every comment and suggestion will be read and your comments used in our planning.
To encourage you even more, each completed survey will be put into a draw, and the winner will receive a £50 voucher for a store/supplier of your choice. Thank you for your help. To be entered into the draw, your questionnaire needs to be completed and returned to us before 30th June 2019.
We need to ask you something……
…. and it’s not about money!!!
Can you help?