About the Building

An outline of the special features.

Built in 1938 in the neo-byzantine style which Lady and Baron Gladstone had seen during their grand tour of Europe. From the outside the church is clearly different but inside there are striking features. The smooth curves of the vaulted ceiling lead the eye to the dome with the circle of lights, high altar and magnificent altar ornaments.

The building

The building occupies an elevated site with impressive views over the English border. It is of neo-Byzantine style with an interior of considerable refinement and calm.


The interior finish is subtle with smooth concrete vaulting throughout, starting at a low point to eliminate the need for buttresses

The internal roof is of reinforced concrete over which there is a timber framed roof covered with Penrhyn slate. Above the high altar is a dome of teak and copper topped by a copper gilt cross. This was a revolutionary design and construction method for the time, the Architect was H. S. Goodhart Rendal a nephew of Lady Gladstone. Bricks came from a local brickyard and the stonework from Talacre.

The Lady Chapel is set in the easternmost bay, the nearby statue is of St. Winifred.

Deceptively simple buff and red flooring is in fact laid to variable patterns defining liturgical areas. Parallel lines of lamp standards define the central aisle leading to the corona of lights over the chancel and the high altar. The glass panes in the leaded windows are largely original, made from cylinder glass of the period. All seats have a clear view of the high altar.

The original hot air heating system, common in many churches, was fired from a coke boiler which is still in situ as are the original floor grilles and return vent, visible below the window of the Sanctuary. This was replaced in 1994 by an oil fired radiator heating system.


The Altar was called St. Winifred’s Altar, linking the former church in Ewloe with the new. It is constructed of stone and concrete. The altar ornaments were dedicated on All Souls’ Day 1939.

On the north side is a bell-cote with two bells that are now operated electrically, the original rope ways may be seen to the left of the organ.

The nave is windowless except for a large semi-circular tripartite west window. The entrances to the church have paired panelled doors between simple buttresses. Over the south porch, in gold mosaic, is a figure of a dove; the symbol of the Holy Spirit.

The Crucifix on the high altar in ivory and mother of pearl is Italian in origin and dates from about 1650. The carvings on the base are of St. Francis, St. Anthony and Our Lady. On the shaft, The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, The Agony in the Garden, “ECCE HOMO” (Behold the Man), The Scourging at the Pillar and The Carrying of the Cross, and at the very top The Resurrection. The candlesticks were designed by the architect to match the crucifix in ebony, ivory and silver.

The Bishop’s chair, with an inlay of mother of pearl, in the sanctuary and the round painting over St. Winifred’s Altar came from Burton Manor these with the church plate, altar vestments, altar candlesticks and the altar cross were included in the gift of Lady Gladstone. The chancel furniture is made from Australian walnut as are the doors

The William Denman organ, one of only 20 now remaining, was purchased in 1980 from St. Cuthbert’s Church, York and installed by a local organ restorer, it was dedicated on 7th June 1981. The original organ was from Burton Manor.

Lights within the church lit the dome and this was visible to shipping entering the port of Liverpool. The start of World War II within 12 months of the dedication dictated that the whole dome together with the windows had to be covered. Recently the dome has been refurbished and a light installed, this is lit each evening and sends a warm yellow glow throughout the church.