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The chapel will hold 560 persons; it is well attended; and the
congregations would be larger if there were more accomodation.
Masses are said here, and services held, on the plan pursued at
other chapels of the same denomination. The half-past nine o'clock
mass on a Sunday morning is a treat; for at it you can see a greater
gathering of juvenile bazouks than at any other place in the town.
Some of the roughest-headed lads in all creation are amongst them;
their hair seems to have been allowed to have its own way from
infancy, and it refuses to be dictated to now. The congregation is a
very poor one, and this will be at once apparent when we state that
the general income of the place, the entire proceeds of it, do not
exceed 100 pounds a year. Nearly every one attending the chapel is a
factory worker, and the present depressed state of the cotton trade
has consequently a special and a very crushing bearing upon the
mission. A new church is badly wanted here; in no part of the town
is a large place of worship so much required; but nothing can be
done in the matter until the times mend. A plot of land has been
secured for a church on the western side of the present improvised
chapel, and close to the house occupied by the priests in charge of
the mission; but until money can be found, or subscribed, or
borrowed without interest, it will have to remain as at present.

The first priest at St. Joseph's was the Rev. R. Taylor; then came
the Rev. R. Kennedy; next the Rev. W. H. Bradshaw, who was succeeded
by the Revs. J. Walmsley and J. Parkinson - the priests now at the
place. Father Walmsley, the superior, who originally came from
Brindle, is a placid, studious-looking, even-tempered gentleman. He
is slender, but wirey; is inclined to be tall, and has got on some
distance with the work. He is thoughtful, but there is much sly
humour in him; he is cautious but free when aired a little. He knows
more than many would give him credit for; whilst naturally reticent
and cool he is by no means dull; he is shrewd and far-seeing but
calm and unassuming; and though evenly balanced in disposition be
would manifest a crushing temper if roughly pulled by the ears. His
first mission was at the Church of the English Martyrs in this town;
then he went to Wigan, and after staying there for a time he landed
at St. Joseph's. Father Parkinson is a native of the Fylde, and he
has got much of the warm healthy blood of that district in his
veins. He has a smart, gentlemanly figure; has a sharp, beaming,
rubicund face; has buoyant spirits, and likes a good stiff tale; is
full of life, and has an eye in his head as sharp as a hawk's; has a
hot temper - a rather dignified irascible disposition; believes in
sarcasm, in keen cutting hits; can scold beautifully; knows what he
is about; has a "young-man-from-the-country-but-you-don't-get-over-
me" look; is a hard worker, a careful thinker, and considers that
this world as well as the next ought to be enjoyed. He began his
clerical career at Lancaster in 1864; attended the asylum whilst at
that town; afterwards had charge of a workhouse at Liverpool; is now
Catholic chaplain of Preston House of Correction, and fills up his
spare time by labouring in St. Joseph's district. Either the House
of Correction or the poor mission he is stationed at agrees with
him, for he has a sparkling countenance, and seems to be thriving at
a genial pace. Both Father Walmsley and Father Parkinson have been
in Spain; they were, in fact, educated there. Both labour hard and
mutually; consoling each other in hours of trial, tickling one
another in moments of ecstacy, and making matters generally
agreeable. The schools attached to St. Joseph's are in a good
condition. They are well attended, are a great boon to the district,
and reflect credit upon those who conduct them. All the district
wants is a new church, and when one gets built we shall all be
better off, for a brighter day with full work and full wages will
then have dawned.


Not very far from the mark shall we be in saying that if this Church
were a little nearer it would not be quite so far off, and that if
it could be approached more easily people would not have so much
difficulty in getting to it. "A right fair mark," as Benvolio hath
it, "is soonest hit;" but you can't hit St. Mark's very well,
because it is a long way out of ordinary sight, is covered up in a
far-away region, stands upon a hill but hides itself, and until very
recently has entailed, in its approach, an expedition, on one side,
up a breath-exhausting hill, and on the other through a world of
puddle, relieved by sundry ominous holes calculated to appal the
timid and confound the brave. We made two efforts to reach this
Church from the eastern side; once in the night time, during which,
and particularly when within 100 yards of the building, we had to
beat about mystically between Scylla and Charybdis, and once at day
time, when the utmost care was necessary in order to avoid a mild
mishap amid deep side crevices, cart ruts two feet deep, lime heaps,
and cellar excavations. We shall long remember the time when, after
our first visit, we left the Church, All the night had we been in a
sadly-sweet frame of mind, listening to prayers and music, and
drinking in the best parts of a rather dull sermon; but directly
after we left a disheartening struggle amid mud ensued, and all our
devotional sentiment was taken right out of us. An old man,
following us, who had been manifesting much facial seriousness in
the Church, stepped calmly, but without knowing it, into a pile of
soft lime, and the moment he got ankle deep his virtue disappeared
amid a radiation of heavy English, which consigned the whole road to
perdition. For several months this identical road spoiled the effect
of numerous Sunday evening sermons; but, it is now in a fair state
of order. St. Mark's Church, is situated on the north-western side
of the town, between Wellington-terrace and the Preston and Wyre
Railway, and was opened on the 22nd of September, 1863. For some
time previously religious services were held on Sundays in
Wellfield-road school, which then belonged Christ Church, but the
district being large and of an increasing disposition, a new church
was decided upon. The late Rev. T. Clark, incumbent at that time of
Christ Church, promoted its erection very considerably; and when the
building was opened those worshipping in Wellfield-road school
(which was afterwards handed over for educational purposes to St.
Mark's) went to it. St. Mark's cost about 7,000 pounds - without the
steeple, which is now being erected, and will, it is expected, be
finished about the beginning of March next. It will be a
considerable architectural relief to the building, and will be some
guide to strangers and outer barbarians who may want to patronise it
either for business purposes or piety. The late J. Bairstow, Esq.,
left 1,000 pounds towards the steeple, which will cost about 1,250
pounds. In the district there are upwards of 6,000 persons, and not
many of them are much better than they ought to be.

St. Mark's is built in the cruciform style, is mildly elaborate, and
moderately serene in outline; but there is nothing very remarkable
about any part of it. Rails run round it, and on the roof there are
eight boxed-up, angular-headed projections which may mean something,
but from which we have been unable to extract any special
consolation. At each end of the church there are doors; those at the
back being small and plain, those in front being also diminutive but
larger. The principal entrance possesses some good points, but it
lacks capaciousness and clearness - has a covered-up, hotel doorway
aspect which we don't relish. It seems also to be very
inconveniently situated: the bulk of those attending the church
come in the opposite direction, and, therefore, if opposed to back
door business, which is rather suspicious at a church, have to make
a long round-about march, wasting their precious time and strength
considerably in getting to the front. The church, which is fashioned
externally of stone, has a brick interior.

A feeling of snugness comes over you on entering; small passages,
closed doors, and an amplitude of curtains - there are curtains at
every door in the church - induce a sensation of coziness; but when
you get within, a sort of bewildering disappointment supervenes. The
place seems cold and unfinished, - looks as if the plasterers and
painters had yet to be sent for. But it has been decided to do
without them: the inside is complete. There may be some wisdom in
this style of thing; but a well-lined inside, whether it appertains
to men or churches, is a matter worthy of consideration. There is an
uncomely, fantastical plainness about the interior walls of St.
Mark's, a want of tone and elegance all over them, which may be very
interesting to some, but which the bulk of people will not be able
to appreciate. If they were whitewashed, in even the commonest
style, they would look better than at present. Bands of cream-
coloured brick run round the walls, and the window arches are
bordered with similar material. The roof is amazingly stocked with
wood, all dark stained: as you look up at it a sense of solemn
maddlement creeps over you; and what such a profuse and complex
display of timber can mean is a mystery, which only the gods and
sharp architects will be able to solve. The roof is supported by ten
long, thin, gilt-headed iron pillars, which relieve what would
otherwise in the general aspect of the church amount to a heavy
monotony of red brickwork and sombre timber. On each side of the
body of the church there are four neat-looking three-light windows;
at the western end there is a beautiful five-light window, but its
effect is completely spoiled by a small, pert-looking, precocious
organ, which stands right before it. At each end of the transept
there are circular lights of condensed though pleasant proportions.

The chancel is spacious, lofty, and not too solemn looking. The base
is ornamented with illumined tablets, and above there are three
windows, the central one bearing small painted representations of
the "Sower" and the "Good Shepherd," whilst those flanking it are
plain. This chancel, owing to its good architectural disposition,
might, by a little more decoration and the insertion of full stained
glass windows, be made very beautiful. The Church is an extremely
draughty one; and if it were not for a screen at the west end and a
series of curtains at the different doors, stiff necks, sore
throats, coughs, colds, and other inconveniences needing much
ointment and many pills would be required by the congregation. Just
within the screen there is a massive stone font, supported by
polished granite pillars, and surrounded at the base by a carpet
upon which repose four small cushions bearing respectively on their
surface a mystic injunction about "thinking" and "thanking."

The Church will accommodate about 1,000. There are 500 free sittings
in it, the bulk being in the transept, which is galleried, and is
the best and quietest place in the building, and the remainder at
the extreme western end. All the seats are small, open, and pretty
convenient; but the backs are very low, and people can't fall asleep
in them comfortably. The price of the chargeable sittings ranges
from 8s. to 10s. each per year. The average congregation numbers
nearly 600; is constituted of working people with a seasoning of
middle-class individuals; is of a peaceable friendly disposition;
does not look black and ill-natured when a stranger appears; is
quite gracious in the matter of seat-finding, book-lending, and the
like; and is well backed up in its kindness by a roseate-featured
gentleman - Mr. Ormandy, one of the wardens - who sits in a free pew
near the front door, and does his best to prevent visitors from
either losing themselves, swooning, or becoming miserable. In this
quarter there is also stationed another official, a beadle, or
verger, or something of the sort, who is quite inclined to be
obliging; but he seems to have an unsettled, wandering disposition,
is always moving about the place as if he had got mercury in him,
can't keep still for the life of him more than two minutes at a
time, and disturbs the congregation by his evolutions. We dare say
he tries to do his best, and thinks that mobility is the criterion
of efficiency; but we don't care for his perpetual activity, and
shouldn't like to sleep with him, for we are afraid he would be a
dreadfully uneasy bed-fellow.

The organ gallery appears to be a pleasant resort for a few hours'
gossip and smirking. The musical instrument in it is diminutive,
rather elegant in appearance at a distance, and is played with
medium skill; but somehow it occasionally sounds when it should not,
sometimes gives a gentle squeak in the middle of a prayer, now and
then is inclined to do a little business whilst the sermon is being
preached; and a lady member of the congregation has put this
question to us on the subject, "Would it sound if the organist kept
his hands and feet off it, and attended to the service?" That is
rather a direct interrogation from so fair a source, and lest we
might give offence we will allow people to answer it for themselves
in their own way, after which they may, if inclined, communicate
with the vivacious beadle, and tell him to look after the organ as
well as the doors, &c. The singers in the gallery are spirited, give
their services, like the organist, "gratisly" - one of the wardens
told us so - and, if not pre-eminently musical, make a very fair
average ninth-rate effort in the direction of melody. They will
mend, we have no doubt, eventually - may finally get into the
"fastoso" style. In the meantime, we recommend careful reading,
mingled with wise doses of sal-prunel and Locock's wafers. On the
first Sunday in every month, sometimes in the morning and sometimes
in the evening, the sacrament is partaken of at St. Mark's church;
and, comparatively speaking, the number of participants is
considerable. The business is not entirely left, as in some
churches, to worn-out old men and sacredly-snuffy old women - to a
miserable half-dozen of fogies, nearly as ignorant of the vital
virtues of the sacrament as the Virginian old beldame who took it to
cure the rheumatism. At St. Mark's the sacrament takers consist of
all classes of people, of various ages, and, considering the
district, they muster very creditably.

The first incumbent of St. Mark's was the Rev. J. W. Green, who had
very poor health, and died on the 5th of October, 1865. Nineteen
days afterwards the Rev. T. Johnson was appointed to the incumbency
which he continues to retain. Mr. Johnson is apparently about 40
years of age. He was first ordained as curate of St. Peter's,
Oldham; stayed there two years and five months; then was appointed
curate of Pontefract Parish Church, a position he occupied for
nearly two years; subsequently took sole charge of a church at
Holcombe, near Bury; four months afterwards came to Preston as
curate of the Parish Church; remained there a considerable time;
then went to Carnforth, near Lancaster; stayed but a short period in
that quarter; and was afterwards appointed incumbent of St. Marks in
this town. Although not very aged himself be lives in a house which
is between 700 and 800 years old, and which possesses associations
running back to the Roman era. This is Tulketh Hall, an ancient,
castellated, exposed building on an eminence in Ashton, and facing
in a direct line, extending over a valley, the front door of St.
Mark's Church. With a fair spy-glass Mr. Johnson may at any time
keep an exact eye upon that door from his own front sitting room.
Nobody can tell when the building, altered considerably in modern
times and now called Tulketh Hall, was first erected. Some
antiquaries say that a body of monks from the monastery of Savigny,
in Normandy, originally built it in 1124; others state that the
place was made before that time; but this is certain, that a number
of monks from the monastery named occupied it early in the twelfth
century, and that they afterwards left it and went to Furness Abbey.
On the south-west of Tulketh Hall the remains of a fosse (ditch or
moat) were, up to recent times, visible; some old ruins adjoining
could also be seen; and it has been supposed by some persons that
there was once a Roman stronghold or castle here. Tulketh Hall has
been occupied by several ancient families, and was once the seat of
the Heskeths, of Rossall, near Fleetwood. The Rev. T. Johnson has
lived in it for perhaps a couple of years, and seems to suffer none
from either its isolation or antiquity. He thrives very well, like
the generality of parsons, and will be a long liver if careful. He
has what a phrenological physiologist would call a vitally sanguine
constitution - has a good deal of temper, excitability, and
determination in his character. You may persuade him, but he will be
awkward to drive. He has a somewhat tall, gentlemanly, elastic
figure; looks as if he had worn stays at some time; is polished,
well-dressed, and careful; respects scented soap; hates the smell of
raw onions; is scrupulous in his toilet; is sharp, swellish, and
good-mannered; rather likes platform speaking; is inclined to get
into a narrow groove of thought politically and theologically, when
crossed by opponents; is eloquent when earnest; talks rubbish like
everybody else at times; has a strong clear voice; is a good
preacher; is moderate in his action; has never, even in his fiercest
moments, injured the pulpit; has a refined, rather affected, and at
times doubtful pronunciation; gets upwards of 300 pounds a year from
the Church; has been financially lucky in other ways; has a homely
class of parishioners, who would like to see him at other times than
on Sundays; is well respected on the whole, and may thank his stars
that fate reserved him for a parson.

His curate - the Rev. C. F. Holt - seems to be only just out of pin
feather, is rather afraid of hopping off the twig; and needs sundry
lessons in clerical flying before he will make much headway. He is
good-looking, but not eloquent; precise in his shaving, but short of
fire and originality; smart in features, but bad in his reading; has
a very neat moustache, but a rather mediocre mental grasp; wears
neat neck-ties and very clean shirts, but often fills you with the
east wind when preaching. He is, however, a very indefatigable
visitor, works hard and cheerfully in the district, has, by his
outside labours, augmented the congregation, and on this account
deserves credit. He is neither eloquent in expression nor sky-
scraping in thought: but he labours hard amongst outside sinners,
and an ounce of that kind of service is often worth a ton of pulpit
rhetoric and sermonising bespanglement. At the schools in Wellfield-
road the average day attendance is 310; whilst on Sundays it reaches
470. The school is a good one; the master is strong, healthy, and
active, and the mistress is careful, antique-looking, and efficient.


Some good people are much concerned for the erection of new places
of worship in our large towns, labour hard for long periods in
maturing plans for them, and nearly exhaust their energies in
securing that which is held to be the only potent agent in their
construction - money. But this is an ancient and roundabout process,
and may, as it sometimes has done, terminate in failure. A stiff
quarrel is about the surest and quickest thing we are acquainted
with for multiplying places of worship, for Dissenters, at any rate;
and probably it would be found to work with efficacy, if tried,
amongst other bodies. Local experience shows that disputes in
congregations invariably end in the erection of new chapels. Show us
a body of hard, fiercely-quarrelsome religious people, and although
neither a prophet nor the son of one we dare predict that a new
place of worship will be the upshot of their contentions. We know of
four or five chapels in Preston which here been raised on this plan,
and those requiring more need only keep the scheme warm. It is not
essential that persons anxious for new sacred edifices should expend
their forces in pecuniary solicitations; let them set a few
congregations by the ears and the job will be done at once.
Deucalion of Thessaly was told by the oracle of Themis that if he
wished to renew mankind he must throw his mother's bones behind his
back. This was about as irreverent and illogical as telling people
that if they want more religious accomodation they must commence
fighting; and yet, whilst olden history gives some faint proof that
the Grecian prince was successful, in stone if not in bone throwing,
modern experience ratifies the notion that a smart quarrel is
certain to be followed by a good chapel.

There was a small feud in 1849-50 at Vauxhall-road Particular
Baptist Chapel, Preston, concerning a preacher; several liked him;
some didn't; a brisk contention followed; and, in the end, the
dissatisfied ones - about 50 in number, including 29 members - finding
that they had "got up a tree," quietly retired. They hired a place
in Cannon-street, which somehow has been the nursery of two or three
stirring young bodies given to spiritual peculiarity. Here they
worshipped earnestly, looking out in the meantime for a plot of land
in some part of the town whereon they could build a chapel, and thus
attend to their own business on their own premises. Singular to say
they hit upon a site adjoining the most fashionable quarter of the
town - hit upon and bought the only piece of land in the Belgravia of
Preston whereon they or anybody else could build a place of worship.
This was a little spot on the north-eastern side of Regent-street,
abutting upon Winckley-square, and freed from the restrictions as to
church and chapel building which operated in respect to every other
vacant piece of land in the same highly-spiced neighbourhood. Upon
this land they raised a small chapel, and dedicated it to Zoar.
Whether they did this because Zoar means little, or because it was
fancied that they had "escaped," like Lot of old, from a very
unsanctified place, we cannot tell. The chapel was opened in 1853,
at a cost of 500 pounds, one-fifth of which, apart from previous
subscriptions, was raised during the inaugural services.

As to the outward appearance of this chapel, not so much can be
said. It is built of brick, with stone facings; at the front there
is a gable pierced with a doorway, flanked with two long narrow
windows, and surmounted by a small one; above, there is a stone
tablet giving to the name of the chapel and the date of its opening;
on the left, calmly nestling on the roof, there is a sheet iron
pipe; and on the ground, at the same side, there are some good
stables. These stables do not belong to the chapel, and never did.
There is no bell at the chapel; but the name of Mr. Bell, who rents
the stables, is fixed at one side of it; and in this circumstance
some satisfaction may be found. The chapel has a microscopical,
select, sincere appearance; has no architectural strength nor
highly-finished beauty about it; is bashful, clean, unadorned; and
looks like what it is - the cornered-up, decorous, tiny Bethel of a
particular people. Its internal arrangements are equally sedate,
condensed, and snug. A calm homeliness, a Quakerly simplicity runs
all through it. Nothing glaring, shining, or artistically complex is
visible; neither fresco panellings, nor chiaroscuro contrasts, nor
statuary groups adorn its walls: if any of these things were seen
the members would scream. All is simple, clean, modest. The walls,
slightly relieved on each side by two imitation columns, are calmly
coloured; the ceiling, containing a floriated centre piece, is
plainly whitewashed; the gas stands have no pride in them; the
pulpit is small, durable, unpretentious. There are 22 deep long
narrow pews in the chapel, and they will accommodate 200 persons. A
small and rather forlorn-looking clock perches over the doorway, and
keeps time, when going, moderately well. In the south-western corner
of the building there is a mural tablet, in memory of the late Mrs.
Caroline Walsh, who gave 50 pounds towards the erection of the
chapel. If she had given 100 pounds probably two monuments would
have been raised to her memory.

Nearly all who visit the chapel are middle-class people. The average
attendance ranges from 70 to 80. There are 34 members at the place.

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