Building » Widnes (Cronton) – Holy Family

Widnes (Cronton) – Holy Family

Hall Lane, Cronton, Widnes WA8

A modest village church built by a private benefactor in the early twentieth century. It remains largely unaltered, and retains some internal features of interest.

The church was built at the expense of Frederick Annesley and Isabella Stapleton-Bretherton of Rainhill House (now Loyola Hall), Rainhill Stoops, in memory of their two deceased children, Mary, a Sister of Charity, and Robert, who was killed in the Boer War. The foundation stone was laid by Dr Whiteside, Archbishop of Liverpool, on 18 July 1909, and the church opened in the following year. Seating 360, it was designed by Alfred Gilbertson of Liverpool (The Tablet, 24 July 1909). The presbytery is contemporary with the church.


A small church faced in coursed rock-faced red Rainhill sandstone, with a simple southwest tower and lancet windows. The presbytery is attached to the east end, and has had some of its windows enlarged by the removal of stone mullions.

The internal space is a simple box, with a west choir gallery and a roof supported on scissor  trusses. It is well preserved. A sensitive reordering in  the 1970s or 80s involved bringing the altar forward, but retained the altar rails and reredos with plaster panels depicting scenes in the life of the Holy Family. The original pulpit, pews and baptistery all remain in use. Two stained glass windows by Mayer and Co. of Munich, dated 1901/02, north east, commemorate the son (a soldier) and the daughter (a nun) of the founders. A Jubilee window of 1960, south west is by Hardmans. A large number of other windows are filled with glass of mediocre design by Coleman and Cropper of Leigh, Lancashire, dated 1986.

Entry amended by AHP 8.1.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: A. Gilbertson

Original Date: 1910

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed