Building » West Derby – St Paul

West Derby – St Paul

Town Row, West Derby, Liverpool 12

The church is a good example of a modest parish church in the free Gothic style, designed by one of the leading Roman Catholic architectural firms in the  northwest in the early-20th century. The ample original endowment by a local benefactor means that both the building and its fittings are more than usually elaborate.

In 1879 and in Bonsall Road was purchased for a ‘school chapel’ to serve the religious needs of Irish immigrant agricultural labourers and servants in the newly developed middle class houses of West Derby. A chapel was built in the following year, but was soon found to be too small.  The present site was donated in the 1870s but it was not until 1912, when a local resident named William Leeming bequeathed £6,000 for a new church building and £4,000 for fittings, that a replacement for the old chapel could be contemplated. The foundation stone of the new building was laid in January 1914 and the church was consecrated in June 1915.

The present church dates from 1914, not 1880. The  sanctuary was re-ordered 1973-5. The original marble reredos was reduced in height, the marble altar brought forward and the original marble pulpit cannibalised to make lecterns set behind the marble sanctuary rails which run the full width of the church. The sanctuary walls are lined with panelling with low-relief saints commissioned by Fr Van Wassenhove and installed between the wars. The aisle windows are clear-glazed, the three central sanctuary windows have original stained  glass. The octagonal stone and marble stone font has been moved from the baptistery to the place formerly occupied by the pulpit.  The timber benches are presumably original. The organ in the west gallery was installed in 1982.

Heritage Details


Original Date: 1914

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: II