St Andrew's Ashton

History of St. Andrew's

In 1834, as the population of Ashton, Lea, Ingol and Cottam neared 700, it was decided that there was a need for a church in West Preston. Revd. Roger Carus Wilson, the Vicar of Preston, provided the impetus for this project to get underway.  Nearly £4000 was raised and so on Thursday 20th August 1835, the foundation stone was laid.

It was not until over a year later that the consecration ceremony for St. Andrew’s Church was performed on Friday 7th October 1836, by the Right Revd. Dr. Sumner, Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Chester (the Diocese of Blackburn did not exist at the time). This first church building seated about 300.

The Vicarage was built sometime around 1840 and used to boast a coach house, servants’ quarters and large paddock; sadly all gone now. The School was first opened on Wednesday 18th May 1842, with the original buildings being situated in what is now the Church Hall. These were built from 1844-45 and the new school was built in 1895.

As the population of the area hit 2000 it became clear that the old building was no longer able to accommodate the growing congregation. A meeting was held on Wednesday 7th December 1870 and it was eventually decided that the church needed to be almost entirely rebuilt. More than £2000 was raised and the present church was built, being reopened on Thursday 2nd July 1874.

St. Andrew’s went on to plant St. Michael’s Church, Ashton-on-Ribble (1908), St. Margaret’s Church, Ingol (1925) and St. Christopher’s, Lea (1939) as the population of the area continued to grow. The shields of the latter two churches can be seen on the screen at the front of the church which was installed in 1936 for the 100th Anniversary.