ST ANTHONY'S PARISH
ST ANTHONY'S 1953?
Our thanks go Keith Severs for providing this webpage with a photo picturing pupils from St Anthony's school in 1953? We wonder if readers can identify any faces and tell us exactly when the photo was taken and why. We also welcome other such photos of pupils from St Anthony's school and other schools in the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton areas.
ST ANTHONY'S FIRST HOLY COMMUNIONS 1958
Our thanks go to Margaret Rawet (nee Wilson) for sending this photo picturing pupils of St Anthony's School for inclusion on this webpage. Those pictured made their First Holy Communions in 1958 and Margaret tells us that she is sitting on the 3rd row next to a Frances Batley. Margaret also tells us that Jane Talbot, Eileen Mead and Cecilia Kearns are also photographed. We welcome hearing from readers who can recognise more faces on the photo.
St Anthony of Egypt
Parishioners of, and visitors to, St Anthony's Church on Scotland Road will have seen that there is a new statue of St Anthony of Egypt within the body of the church. St Anthony's Church commissioned the statue of St Anthony of Egypt and chose Sculptor/Woodcarver Jon Sonntag to carry out design, development and carving. The 42 inches high Lime Wood statue shows St Anthony holding a bible in his right hand, a crooked staff in his left hand with a small wild boar at his left side.
Jon Sonntag researched the saint and his new design was developed by first making a 14 inches high clay model. The clay model was then photographed from two angles and sent to Fr Graeme Dunne at St Anthony's Church for comment and approval.
The actual carving was sculptured by chisel only, no sandpaper or rasps were used as Jon wanted to leave the evidence of resilience and hard work as a tribute to St Anthony.
New Catholic Chapel in Scotland Road
This splendid and capacious edifice was opened for public worship on Sunday last, on which occasion the Right Rev. Dr Penswick, Vicar Apostle of the Northern District officiated at a solemn Pontifical High Mass, assisted by the Rev. Dr Youens of Copperas Hill Chapel, as Deacon, the Rev. Mr Croft of Edmund street chapel, as sub-deacon, and the Rev. C Fisher, of St Anthony’s Chapel Scotland road, as Master of the ceremonies, with fourteen priests in surplices and stoles, who stood ringed on each side of the main altar, within the rails during the ceremony. In order to meet the necessary expenses of the day, and also to lessen, in some degree, the heavy demands against the chapel still remaining unpaid, the admission was regulated by ticket, for which the visitors paid 10 shillings for the gallery, 7s 6d for the body, and 5s for that portion of it under the gallery. Notwithstanding the high price of admission, the grandeur of the ceremony, the attraction of an eventful vocal and instrumental band, and the performance of some of the best pieces of Haydn and Mozart, - and above all we hope, the excellences of the object in view, occasional great anxiety to procure tickets, and we were glad to see the Chapel densely crowded in every part, including the aisles and space before the altars, where forms and chairs were provided for those who could not obtain seats in the pews. Eleven o’clock was the hour appointed for the commencement of the service, but long before that time the company began to arrive, and there was some crushing at the gates to obtain admittance, which we think might, and ought to have been prevented.
The street remained densely crowded during the day, and several of the house tops in the neighbourhood, from which flags were flying, were covered with people. The service was opened with Haydn’s celebrated motet, “Oh Jesu te invocamus”, which was effectively given by a good choir, assisted by a an excellent band, under the direction of Mr Aldridge, and accompanied by Mr Henshall on the organ. The latter instrument is a very fine and powerful one, the manufacture of Mr Davis from Sunderland, but it’s being placed very far back in a recess constructed for it’s reception deteriorates very materially from it’s effect. The “Kyrie” was the composition of Mr Henshall, the conductor. It displays considerable knowledge of orchestral effect, but we thought it deficient in melody, a fault for which no display of harmony can atone. The same remark will apply to the “Sanctus” and “Benedictus”, the composition of the same author. The instrumental solos, and particularly that of Mr Stubb’s on the clarionet, were exceedingly well performed. The “Gloria” from Haydn’s Mass No 5 is a noble composition, the choir and band evidently exerted themselves to do it justice, but in consequence, we suppose, of the conductor being so placed that he could not be seen by all, there was an evident want of uniformity in some parts of it. This we particularly noticed in the introduction of “Cum Sancto Spritu” to the fugue “ In Gloria Dei Patris”. On the whole however this fine composition, perhaps one of the best of the kind that Haydn ever wrote, was effectively given. The “Quoniam” was very well sung by Miss George, but it was eveidently new to her, and it requires a powerful voice and great execution to give it effect. Between the epistle and gospel Miss Johnson sang the the hymn “Ecce Panis” very sweetly, with an organ accompaniment. Her voice appeared to great advantage in this place, and if she could only divest herself of a slight timidity, which in some degree mars her best efforts we know of few singers to whom we could listen with greater pleasure. After the sermon we were promised a solo on the organ by Mr Henshall: but the promise though “kept to the ear, was broken to the hope” for what he played was a mere apology for one. We have heard him play much better in every day occasions. The opening chorus of the “Credo” told well but the beautiful little solos scattered through this piece were indifferently sung by the lady to whom they were entrusted. The beautiful tenor solo “ Et Incarnatus est” was very chastely and efficiently sung by Mr H Bedford, though we thought his occasionally somewhat deficient in expression. Some of his tones reminded us very strongly of Donzelli and the resemblance was so striking, that we believe there were some persons present who actually mistook Mr Bedford for that splendid and inimitable singer. We regret that Donzelli’s festival engagements would not permit him to be present on this occasion: but in his absence we know of few abler substitutes for him than Mr Bradford. The duet “ Crucifixus est”, for alto and basso, was ably sung by Messrs. Dodd and Robert Gillow: the concluding words “ Et Sepultus ept” we suppose the latter gentleman sang , but unfortunately though we listened very attentively, we could not catch them.
The two choruses “ Et resurrexit” and “ Et vitam” were admirably given: the tenor solos in the first were very sweetly sung by Mr Richard Gillow; and the “Et vitam” was sung and perfomed with a precision and effect not to be surpassed; indeed it has rarely fallen to our lot to hear a chorus better sustained in very part than this.
During the elevation Miss Mary Whitnall and Mr H Bedford sang Girdani’s celebrated duet “ Tibi omnes Angeli”, a most delicious morceau, and whether we regard the compostion or the way it was performed, we are sure it must have delighted everyone capable of appreciating musical expression. The “Agnus Dei” from Haydn’s Mass no 6, was a delightful combination of melody and harmony, and the splendid chorus “ Dona Nobis” must have given general satisfaction. . The service concluded with Mozart’s fine motet “ Deus Deus” , the solo parts of which were ably executed by Miss Johnson, and messrs J Molyneux, Stansberry, and Dodd.
The band was ably led by Mr Aldridgeand we cannot refrain from complimenting Mr Stansberry on his very effective and judicious exertions which contributed much of the success of the whole performance. During the Mass The Right Rev. Dr Baines, RC Bishop of the Western District, preached an appropriate sermon on the nature and evidence of Christianity, only glancing slightly forwards at the conclusion of his address, on the occasion which called the congregation together. We have heard much of the fame of this gentleman as a preacher and we must say that he came up fully to our expectations.
As the sermon was a truly Catholic and not sectarian one, we should think it’s publication would be very generally acceptable, and materially serve the interests of the charity. We believe that Dr Baines does not write his sermons, but we know that full notes of it were taken and we throw out this hint for the consideration of the committee if they should choose to take advantage of it. After the sermon, which occupied nearly two hours in the delivery, a collection was made towards defraying the costs of the building. The service did not conclude until three o’clock. In the evening the chapel was once again densely crowded in every part. The same vocal and instrumental performers attended as in the morning. The service consisted of the vespers, a selection from the morning service – Wintet’s trio “Oh Jesu” extrmemly well sung by Miss Whitnall, and Messrs Rd Gillow and Dodd. – and Mozart’s grand Motett “Splendente”. An appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev Dr Kenny. The collection in the morning amounted to £80 – in the evening to £74 – which with the sale of tickets, of which about £500 worth were disposed of would make the proceeds of the day nearly £700.
We congratulate our Catholic readers and especially such of them who reside in that part of town, on the completion of a commodious building so long wanting in that neighbourhood: the old chapel of St Anthony built by the late Rev. Mr Gerardot, being totally inadequate to the accommodation of the dense and increasing population in that quarter. The building was commenced little more than seventeen months ago. And it’s rapid completion reflects great credit on all concerned, more especially on the more wealthy members of the committee, who by guaranteeing the repayment of two loans of £3000 each , have enabled the committee to avoid the expense and delay which attended the building of St Patrick’s chapel. Some years ago.
The building viewed from without, is an elegant and capacious edifice in the light Gothic style, which constitutes a striking ornament to the northern entrance to the town and does great credit to the taste and skill of Mr Broadbings in Liverpool. It is one of the very few public buildings on the west which possessed advantageous situation On the west at a suitable distance it fronts Scotland road …..(this part of the paper is torn away) it fronts New Boundary street and ….(this part also torn away)..direct roads and by these and other direct roads it enjoys and easy and direct communication with every surrounding part of the town It’s extreme length from east to west is 158 feet six inches; it’s extreme breadth , 74 feet, and the height of the west end from the ground to the top of the cross is 74 feet.
The outside dimensions exceed those of Copperas Hill chapel by 74 feet 3 inches in length, and 11 feet six inches in breadth. The inside dimensions of the body are 100 feet by 62 feet in breadth, and the height of the ceiling from the floor is 43 feet six inches. The principal entrance is at the west end, on the right and left of which there are stair-cases leading to the orchestra and gallery, the latter extends 29 feet into the body of the chapel, is supported by iron pillars, and decorated with a richly panelled front. The perspective view of the interior, from the door of the main entrance, or from the gallery has a very imposing effect. The style of architecture is that which prevailed in this country from the time of Henry II to the end of the reign of Edward I, and usually dominated the early English style, of which Salisbury Cathedral is the only perfect specimen as an entire building that we have in this country The form of the building is a parallelogram. The west or front entrance to Scotland road consists of a projecting frontspiece, with turrets on each angle and porches. The longitudinal part of this structure is relieved by buttresses terminated by triangular canopies between which are double lancet windows, and the whole line of the top is battlemented. At the east end there are three spacious vestries behind the altars, with ornaments corresponding with other parts of the building.
There are three splendid altars at the east end , enclosed by a handsome Gothic railing. The small altar pieces are executed in Bath stone; but owing to the existing differences between the tradesmen and their masters, the centre or high altar is not finished; but it will be one of the most splendid pieces of architecture of it’s kind that is to be found in this country. It is to be executed entirely of Bath stone, full of ornaments corresponding with the style and crowned with pinnacles.
Underneath the floor at the west end is placed an apparatus for supplying the chapel with hot air: by this during winter the chapel will be kept free of damp and cold, and during the summer season will be so ventilated as to prevent the suffocating effects of heat. The air used for these purposes will be carried under the side aisles, which are flagged and diffused over the building through numerous eye holes, so as to produce the effect without exposing the congregation to the danger of getting cold or any other inconvenience The crypt beneath the chapel is deep and allotted for vaults, so constructed as to form a cemetery; each vault is calculated to receive a single coffin ; and they are built in rows and tiers, each tier containing five vaults; these rows are intersected with passages and each passage has a corresponding window. Over each of these vaults there is a separate arch of brick-work, so that the coffins placed in them do not rest upon another. The mouth of each vault, as soon as a coffin is received within it will be closed with brick-work , or with a slab of stone on which will be inscribed the epitaph of the person who lies there interred.
From this cemetery no effluvia can ever ascend into the body of the chapel, for it is impossible for any smell to work it’s way through the grouted arches over each coffin; but should any vapour escape from them it will be immediately removed by numerous ventilating apertures which supply every part of the cemetery with a constant stream of fresh and pure air. The cemetary contains 654 vaults ; besides which there are, at the west end under the entrance of the chapel four large vaults and at the east end there are vaults for the clergy.It is calculated that the building will afford accommodation to 1700 persons. Half of the ground floor besides standing room, has been appropriated to free sittings for the poor and an inscription to that effect securing the right forever has been placed upon the walls.
We had almost omitted to mention that the solicitor, treasurer, collectors and other officers of the society have all very much to their credit given their services gratuitously The building has cost about £10,000 in the erection, of which about £3,000 has been collected chiefly in donations and small weekly subscriptions . The chapel is consequently nearly £7,000 in debt ; but the fundraising from the sale or graves and tombs , and from the land in the neighbourhood will go a considerable way towards reducing the debt; and from the zeal and spirit with which the undertaking is hitherto conducted, we doubt not that every means will be taken to get rid altogether of the incumbrance.
Our thanks go to Caryl Williams who has provided this webpage with information about St Anthony's Church, Scotland Road as featured in the Liverpool Mercury, September 20th 1833. We would also like to advise readers about Caryl's brilliant website about Old Liverpool, which you can access at www.old-liverpool.co.uk
200TH ANNIVERSARY MASS IN RECOGNITION OF THE OPENING OF THE PRESENT CHURCH IN 1833
On Wednesday 29th September St Anthony’s Church, Scotland Road celebrated a bicentenial Mass (1804-2004) in recognition of the opening of the present church (29th September 1833). The main focus of the celebration was the Sacramental life of the parish and the fact that St Anthony’s is the mother church of the North of Liverpool. The congregation included people from the parishes that were founded from St Anthony’s many of them now unfortunately closed.
The mass was celebrated by Bishop Tom Williams who spoke about the rich history, heritage and culture of St Anthony’s church and parish. It is the expressed hope of Father Graeme Dunne (Parish Priest – St Anthony’s) that current parishioners at St Anthony’s can draw inspiration from our past to help us look confidently to the future.
All in attendance at the Mass were full of praise for the choir and readers can have a chance to hear the choir singing at the Mass by listening to a recording of the full service on Radio Merseyside – Sunday 24th October at 8.30am.
ST ANTHONY'S FIRST HOLY COMMUNIONS 1955
We thank Peter Fisher for providing the Scottie Press with this photograph picturing pupils from St Anthony's School who made their First Holy Communions in 1955 . Pictured on this photograph is Peter's brother, Joe Fishers.
We will be adding this photograph to the photographs already on the website's Archive section webpage St Anthony's Parish. We welcome hearing from readers who may have other group photographs of First Holy Communions at St Anthony's in the 1950s.
ST ANTHONY'S BOY SCOUTS RETURN TO TAWD VALE
It was back in June 2004 when members of the St Anthony's Scouts Group made a return visit to Tawd Vale Camp - pictured are Jimmy Slavin and Francis Cant standing by the Camp Warden's office.
Also pictured is John Hayes inside the Providore which John tells us was the building where they used to pick up their bread and milk which had to be ordered on booking prior to the Scouts stay at the Camp.
John Hayes tells us that all who went had an enjoyable time, remembering when they used to stay at Tawd Vale Camp back in the 1950s,.
ST ANTHONY'S SCHOOL 1908
We thank Mary Lynch (nee Pilgrim) for this photo which pictures her father James Pilgrim as a pupil of St Anthony's School (circa 1908) James is sitting on the front row 3rd from left hand side.
Mary also sent the above photograph of herself and her husband Eddie with Tony Mcgann at the Eldonians Club on a recent visit to Liverpool to visit old friends and take in the Mathew Street Festival.
We welcome hearing from readers who have photographs which they would like to add to this archive webpage.
ST ANTHONY'S BOY SCOUTS
We thank John Hayes for providing some photographs of members of St Anthony's Boys Scouts. John with fellow former members of St Anthony's Boy Scouts recently made a return visit to Tawd Vale Camp, a place they used to go in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Tawd Vale has long been a favourite site for generations of campers. Taking this trip back in time with John were: Alec Wilson, Tony Rimmer, Jimmy Slavin, John Lloyd and Francis Cant. It was more than 50 years since they (as St Anthony's Boy Scouts) were last at Tawd Vale but they were able to recognise many of the landmarks.
One of the photographs that John has provided shows some of the Boy Scouts of 50 years ago having fun in the River Tawd which wanders through the centre of the campsite and adds to the natural beauty of the surrounding area.
John tells us that he will send some photographs taken on the recent return visit to Tawd Vale and we also welcome hearing from readers who were members of St Anthony's Boy Scouts and who may have photographs for this webpage.