What follows is a copy of an article from the Parish Church magazine. One of the previous incumbents of the church was obviously interested if history and included an article like this in every magazine. It gives a wonderful feel of life in the late 1800s. Unfortunately this is the only article in my possesion.
Parish fund raising in the late 19th century
The 19th century saw a number of changes to the fabric of the Parish Church, the first of which was the rebuilding of the chancel and vestry in 1819 at the expense of the Earl of Wilton, the Patron of Radcliffe Church. This was also the time when a "chapel of ease" dedicated to St Thomas was built on the site of the present St Thomas and St John's church. Thomas Foxley, a personal friend of Lord Wilton, was Rector of Radcliffe at the time.
In 1846 the north transept was added to the Parish Church and the old pews were replaced. Quite a lot of tiling was also done and quite a number of stained glass windows were installed, many of which are still present. This was in the time of Rector Nathanael Mime (1838 - 1867).
Rector Henry A Starkie arrived in 1867 and in 1870 a huge programme of renovation and alteration began. The nave roof was renewed completely and the south side of the Church was extended and re-roofed. The Rector and his mother donated very generously to the cost of the work. How the rest of the money was raised is not recorded nor is the actual cost of the works.
By the time we reach 1890 we find special fund-raising efforts involving the people of the congregation and the parish coming into prominence. The method of raising finds on this occasion was the staging of a 'Bazaar'. In 1890 it was decided to hold such a Bazaar in order to finance two building work projects. These were not to do with the fabric of the church building but were of a wider parochial nature. £470 was needed to pay for an extension to St Anne's Infant School and towards the cost of the "new Church Institute" on Church Green, which was now near completion.
St Anne's, that had been built in 1884 on land donated by Lord Wilton at a cost of £1,100 and paid for by the Dowager Anne Starkie, needed £270 for its extension to accommodate the excess numbers of children, which were attending the school. The "Institute" needed £200 to add to the £185 already donated (the Rector £ 100, Mr J H Openshaw of Bury £50; Mr A C Bealey £25 and Messrs John Wild & son £ 10).
The Bazaar was to be held in the Co-operative Hall on Thursday, November 27th; Friday, November 28th-I Saturday, November 29th and Monday. December 1St between the hours of 2pm and 10pm each day.
There were to be four stalls as follows:
There was also a Refreshments Stall run by Mrs Enoch Booth, Mrs William Wild and Mrs Allen Openshaw.
The Minstrel Troupe of 15 men performed twice each evening in the Assembly Hall.
A ten-member orchestra with W E Monks at the piano and Mr 3 Clegg on the double bass played each evening.
The Bazaar was opened by the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Major Bird, of Brookhey Hall, Garstang.
The organising secretaries of the event were Mona Wild of Hamilton House, Manchester Road, Bury and Mr James Wallwork of 2 Schofield Street, Radcliffe. The treasurer was Frederick Scholes of Eton Hill Road, Radcliffe.
Such was the combined effort went into the organisation of a Parish Bazaar to raise funds for the "parochial works projects of 1890". This is the earliest account of such a 'Bazaar' which I have been able to uncover, but they did become the main method of raising funds on a large scale for later parochial projects.
In spite of all the detail I have been able to find I'm afraid I cannot tell you whether the required sum of money was raised - I think we will have to assume that it was!!