About

Welcome to St Michael's Church, Flixton. We believe that worship is our primary purpose before God, and all else in our Christian life should flow from that. Christians have worshipped on this site for at least 900 years making this one of the ancient parishes of Manchester Diocese.

Contact Info

Saint Michael's Church, Flixton
348 Church Road
Flixton
Manchester
M41 6HR

Telephone:
Email: jadurber@yahoo.com

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History, Restoration, Conservation

National Heritage Open Day

Saturday 10th September 2016 10.00-16.00

Every year National Heritage encourages buildings old and new to open their doors for free to the general public. After the success of previous years open day, St. Michael’s Parish Church in Flixton is taking part again. With history dating back 800 years, St. Michaels is a real treasure and well worth a visit.

This year you can climb the stone spiral staircase to the bell ringing room where you’ll be able to see the bells which are rung every Sunday morning. If you have always wondered how these bells are rung and what they look like now is your chance!

There will also be tours of our ancient churchyard where grave stones of special interest will be pointed out. As we think about those who lost their lives in the Great War, many of the war graves will be marked and you can also look at the memorial plaques in the south porch.

Our parish registers and grave records will be on display with people to help you find what you are looking for.

Take your time to look at the various displays, the beautiful stained glass windows and other treasures.

A children’s competition will run throughout the day and refreshments served.

There is ample parking and the church has wheelchair access.

For more information tel 748 2884 or 747 4079

A potted history of the Church

It’s very difficult to determine the date of the first church in Flixton. The first references to the Church speak of it as already existing and the old church of St Michael’s is mentioned in the doomsday book. Though there is no evidence of a Saxon church here, the Normans never claimed to have founded a church on this site.  Soon after 1066, the Normans acquired the land and the Norman carving above the East Window on the exterior of the building testifies to a stone-built Norman Church.

Therefore, there may well have been a Rector and poor wooden church in Flixton prior to the arrival of the Normans.   It’s probably safe to say that Christians have worshipped in this place for at least 900 years making this one of the oldest foundations in Manchester Diocese.

In about 1190, Flixton was appropriated by Burscough Priory and then in 1290 by Lichfield Cathedral, where there is a historic stall reserved for the Prebendary of Flixton to this very day. By 1500, Flixton Church had reached it’s present length with a tower on the same site as the present one, containing two bells. Of this medieval building only the east wall of the chancel remains. In 1964, the original stonework was stripped of it’s 18th Century white plaster to reveal the beautiful stonework you can see today. The East window dates from 1853 and is in the medieval style. The stone reredos and pulpit were given in 1877. The present Church is fundamentally Georgian. The nave aisles were built in 1756 and the tower from 1731, though the present tower dates from 1889 when it was rebuilt to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. In 1808 the four bells were recast and four more added. They were recast again in 1938. The tenor bells weighs 712Kgs and the bells are still rung today. 

If you would like to arrange a tour of the church, please get in touch.

We regularly welcome historical societies and groups.

Restoration and Development Trust

The Trust has two main purposes. Firstly it is dedicated to maintaining and developing the fabric of the church both inside and out. This remit extends to Church Croft, a property adjacent to St Michaels, purchased by the Parochial Church Council, and where most Parish activities take place. Secondly the Trust contributes to the spiritual growth of the St. Michaels.

To join the Trust a minimum subscription of £10 per annum is required. All monies paid into the Trust’s funds can only be spent in the way described. They cannot, for instance, be used for the payment of domestic church bills. The words “restoration and development” speak for themselves and are what the Trustees bear in mind at all times. In the past money has been given to the PCC for such projects as repairing pinnacles on the tower and work on the organ.

Recently the Trust published a booklet entitled “ The Origin, History and Guide to St Michaels” These are on sale in Church priced at £1.50 a copy.

People who love St Michael’s are invited to remember the trust in their Will or when considering making a donation.

The Church Yard

The earliest stone dates from 1669, though there are records of burials before that. Of interest are many of the simple verses on many of the flatstones, eg the Fiddler’s grave near the vestry door. The verse on the Blacksmith’s grave, William Oldfield, east of the vestry, is attributed to the Lancashire poet Tim Bobbin, who was baptised in this church. 

If looking around the churchyard, please be careful, gravestones are very slippery when wet and uneven. 

The Churchyard is a beautiful, restful place and hallowed ground. Please show respect. If you enter the Churchyard through the Jubilee Path, you will come to Garden of Remembrance, a peaceful place set aside for the interment of ashes and quiet contemplation.

We have a small but dedicated team of gardeners who tend the church yard. They meet every Friday morning, come rain or come shine. If you would like to help please get in touch.

Historical Research

Because of the long history of St Michael's Church, many people find they have significant family connections to this place.

All historic Baptism and Marriage Registers are now deposited in the County Record Office. Please contact them direct to obtain information.

Burial and Grave Registers are still kept at the Church and our Parish Archivist can arrange to undertake a Grave Search on your behalf. There is a small fee, payable in advance for any search.  

Within the Churchyard there are also 24 Commonwealth War Commission Graves of those killed in active service during the First and Second World Wars.