Early days of popular port church

The Vicar of Fleetwood, the Reverend Jon McClintock (left) looks on as the Bishop of Blackburn lays the foundation stone of St. Nicholas Church in 1960
The Vicar of Fleetwood, the Reverend Jon McClintock (left) looks on as the Bishop of Blackburn lays the foundation stone of St. Nicholas Church in 1960

These archive pictures show one of Fleetwood’s best-known churches in its very early stages.

Some of the historic shots portray the church as its foundation stone was laid, at a special ceremony, in October 1960.

Church officials at the foundation stone ceremony of St. Nicholas Church, Fleetwood in 1960

Church officials at the foundation stone ceremony of St. Nicholas Church, Fleetwood in 1960

The stone was laid by Nicholas Meynell, and the site – located on the intersection between Poulton Road, Highbury Avenue and Broadway – was hallowed by Charles Caxton, Bishop of Blackburn.

The St Nicholas mission in Fleetwood actually dates back to 1908, and Wyre Street, where meetings took place in cottages.

Then a modest church was built, but this was washed away in the famous, devastating floods of 1927.

The current site was acquired in the 1930s and ambitious plans for a new church, school, vicarage and hall were drawn up by diocesen leaders.

St Nicholas Church, Highbury Ave/Broadway, Fleetwood.

St Nicholas Church, Highbury Ave/Broadway, Fleetwood.

In the end, only the Broadway Rooms were built and worship continued in a ‘temporary’ wooden church – part of which survived until August 2007 as a scout hut.

It was demolished in the 50s to make way for the current building, which was designed by Laurence King, the Lancashire architect also responsible for the tower at Blackburn Cathedral.

His design was intended to resemble the upturned keep of a ship, representing the seafaring connections of the town and St Nicholas.

He also designed the three large wooden carvings prominent in the interior – a Madonna, a St Nicholas and a Crucifix.

St Nicholas Church, Highbury Ave/Broadway, Fleetwood. (1966).

St Nicholas Church, Highbury Ave/Broadway, Fleetwood. (1966).

It was initially intended to consecrate the church, but this could not happen, as a substantial loan had been taken out on the building.

Instead, on April 27, 1962, Bishop Hoskyns-Abrahall, Bishop of Lancaster, dedicated the building for the worship of Almighty God. The construction work had taken nearly two years. The building was eventually consecrated in 1987.

St Nicholas Church, 1962

St Nicholas Church, 1962