Building Name

Alterations: St Andrew’s Church Ancoats

Ancoats, Manchester
GMCA, England
New build

RE-OPENING OF ST ANDREW’S CHURCH, ANCOATS -  On Friday 30th ult (St Andrew’s Day) this church was reopened after some important alterations of the internal arrangements for the performance of divine service. The arrangements previously were those usually met with in churches built between 1760 and 1835; consisting simply of a nave and aisles (the latter choked with galleries), western tower, and shallow communion recess. Immediately westward of the sanctum and in the centre of the nave was a ponderous pile of carpentry, exhibiting the characteristic graduated pulpit, reading and clerk’s desks of those days, and, from its position completely intercepting the view of the altar from the greater portion of the nave. This very objectionable arrangement it has been the object of the incumbent and churchwardens to rectify, and the difficulties have been met in the following way. The old pulpit and desks have been removed and the floor of the nave in the eastern and part of the adjoining bay has been raised about 2 feet 4 inches above the original level, forming an elevated platform, ascended by four steps on the north, south, and western sides. The floor of the sacrarium again is raised two steps above the platform; so that the altar, upon its foot-pace, is now the central prominent object, distinctly visible from all parts of the church. On the north and south sides of the platform, – or, as we must now call it, “chorus cantorum” – are placed longitudinally, open seats for the choir and clergy; the reading desk being formed by the prolongation of one of these seats on the north side, but having a separate book-board. These seats are of very plain design; the only ornamental portion being the bench ends, which are enriched with poppy heads. On the south side of the chorus cantorum, and attached to one of the columns of the nave arches, is a handsome octagonal pulpit, enriched with traceried panels and worked pinnacles, and supported on a slender stem, having a richly moulded cap and base. The lessons are read from a handsome eagle lectern, carved in wood. The floor has been laid with polished flags, ornamented in part with encaustic tiles from Minton’s manufactory. These alterations have been carried out from the designs and under the superintendence of Messrs Bowman and Crowther, architects of this town; being all that could be accomplished with the limited funds available. [Manchester Guardian 8 December 1849 page 7]

Reference    Manchester Guardian 8 December 1849 page 7 – re-opening
Reference    Manchester Courier 8 December 1849 page 9 – reopening as MG