Celebrating 130 years of St Paul’s Church Morton

by | 10 October 2021 | Community facility, Gainsborough

St Paul’s Church, as it stands today, is 130 years old in 2021. Erected in 1891, it was built on the same site as the original church constructed only 45 years earlier that had far outgrown the population of the community of Morton and the surrounding hamlets.

At a public meeting held in 1890, it was decided to rebuild and enlarge the church and a subscription list was opened. The premier Baronet of England, Sir Hickman Bacon Bart, was at all times a generous benefactor to the Church in Morton and offered to double the money raised. The idea of a suitable church and its furnishings was quite beyond that of the people of Morton, as it was also beyond their means. Thankfully for their forefathers and for them, Sir Hickman’s generosity far exceeded his first offer to double the sum raised (£850). Ultimately, almost all the total cost of the present magnificent church was paid for by Sir Hickman himself – much more than £10,000.

The church is built in a light coloured stone in the Early English style, to the design by JT Micklethwaite and Somers, Clerk of Westminster. The Tower with the West stained glass window is all that remains of the original church. The church that was built consists of a chancel with a chapel dedicated to St Hugh on the south side; a knave of five bays; aisles on the south and north side and the west tower, together with ancillary rooms and a more recent kitchen and toilet.

The church, which was described in 1891 as “The finest example of a Parish Church in Lincolnshire”, is rightly the pride of Morton people. The general beauty of the building; the very fine fittings; the fine organ casing; the fine painted ceiling; the font of Black Frosterly marble surmounted by an oak canopy, these are indeed things to admire. But their richest treasure is the 10 stained glass windows which were executed by the famous co founder of the Arts and Craft Movement, author and artist William Morris, to the designs of Edward Burne-Jones. These 10 William Morris / Burne-Jones windows are not only rare in this country, but in Christendom.

The church has welcomed visitors from all over the country as well as the USA and New Zealand to view this rare stained-glass and it is open by appointment through the churchwardens for any visitor to view this magnificent building.
In recent years the financial requirements to maintain the church and its contents have been met by the congregation and proceeds from fundraising activities. Because this has become increasingly difficult, not least recently through lockdown and church closures, it has been decided to institute a Friends of St Paul’s in the hope that sufficient funds can be raised to maintain the church. They are asking for anyone to be prepared to fund a standing order for a minimum of £2.00 per month and they will then be added to the list of Friends of St Paul.

For 130 years the congregation of St Paul’s has looked after the irreplaceable contents of the church and to commemorate the 130 years that the church has been serving the community with baptisms, weddings, and funerals together with school and social involvement, they are asking for your help.
The church must be kept alive in order to serve the community of Morton. Details of how you can help by completing a standing order are obtainable from the churchwardens, Alan Clapham on 01427 612546 and Jim Muncaster on 01427 612329.