A Brief History of Great Budworth Church
earliest reference to the worshipping community at Great Budworth appears in the
Domesday Book of 1086 where we are told of the presence of a priest and so can
infer a worshipping community and probably a church building.
these early days we can only catch glimpses through "the mists of
time" but one point is clear, the Pre-Reformation history of the church is
dominated by the Augustinian Canons of Norton Priory, Runcorn.
Canons were given the church and living of Great Budworth in 1130 by William
Fitz Nigel, Constable of Chester. Later they received the gift of a third of all
the land in the township of Great Budworth from Geoffrey De Dutton,
to add to the already substantial holdings of land they had been given by local
people, keen to save their souls and those of their loved ones by endowing the
Canons in return for burials and perpetual prayers, a common practice in the
Canons created the present church and dominated both the religious and economic
life of the township. The oldest part of the church, the Lady Chapel, dates from
the fourteenth century and most of the rest from the fifteenth and early
sixteenth centuries showing that the Canons were very active in keeping the
church not only in a good state of preservation, but also in continuing to
beautify and modernise it.
the Reformation of the sixteenth century, the highly decorated church of the
Augustinian Canons was transformed, and by 1600 it had become a white-washed
preaching hall from which a. series of Puritan ministers would, throughout the
seventeenth century, preach the Gospel and convert the parish from a religious
conservatism to a radical Protestantism.
eighteenth century was to see the parish settle into a period of calm as the
old, fiery Protestantism mellowed into an acceptance of Anglicanism's broad
church. This stability was reinforced by the fact that only three long serving
ministers held the living during that century.
the nineteenth century the church was to find a major benefactor in Rowland
E.E.Warburton of Arley who inspired and oversaw the restoration of the church in
the 1850's, rediscovering the medieval glory of the building and encouraging the
return of a more Anglo-Catholic style of worship.
times have seen the life of the church in the parish continuing as in previous
centuries: the round of services, the care for the church building, its
congregation and the community. However, let us not forget that at the heart of
the history of Great Budworth Church is more than two thousand years of
Christian endeavour and witness and that this, of course, is an unfinished
Site last updated on November 30, 2013