History of All Saints Church, Wellingborough
1866 – Foundation stone laid by Rev Henry Vivian Broughton, vicar of Wellingborough.
1867 – During construction arches on the south side of the building and part of the roof collapsed.
1868 – Consecration by Rt Rev Dr Jeune, Bishop of Peterborough. The church cost £4,000 to build and the Architect was Mr A Buckeridge
1872 – Constitution of All Saints as a separate parish. 1st Vicar, Rev Frederick Willis, instituted and inducted.
1883 – Organ built by Hill & Son installed.
1887 – 3 of the East Windows installed, designed by Charles Kempe.
1889 – Vestry (now the Lady Chapel) built.
1890 – Narthex and western extension to the nave dedicated.
1897 – Apse panelling designed by Kempe in solid oak with mahogany canopies and gilded detail installed.
1898 – Alabaster altar piece, carved with emblems of the Passion designed by Kempe installed.
1903 – Final 2 East Windows installed, also designed by Kempe.
1911 – Old heating chamber converted into the Choir Vestry.
1918 – Church Golden Jubilee. The Rood Screen made of oak and designed by Talbot Brown installed.
1920 – First World War Memorial dedicated by the Bishop of Peterborough.
1922 – The Rood figures added to the Screen.
1927 – Oak clergy stalls in the Chancel installed.
1932 – Oak choir stalls in the Chancel dedicated to Canon William Terry were installed. Pulpit in memory of Agnes Annie Smith and designed by F Howard installed.
1964 – Organ rebuilt.
1968 – Centenary.
1974 – Church Hall built.
1990 – Nave Altar constructed of oak and wrought-iron by students of Wellingborough College installed.
1997 – Church reordered.
2003 – Millennium Flame arrived for a year and a day. Major appeal to raise funds to repair roof and upper masonry launched. (All Saints’ Church was guardian of the Flame for a year and a day. The Flame was originally kindled at the beginning of the new millennium and used by the Queen to light the first of her Golden Jubilee beacons. The Millennium Flame will tour the UK until the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 raising funds for charities.)
2007 – After 2 years of work, major repairs to the roof and upper masonry were completed.
2009 – Organ refurbished by M C Thompson Organ Builders Ltd.
2010 – In addition to his duties at All Saints, on September 12th the Vicar was installed as Priest-in-charge of All Hallows, Wellingborough.
2012 -On the 8th June a glorious new window by Rachel Aldridge was dedicated by the Vicar
This is a summary of some of the more important dates in the life of All Saints Church to date.
Date listed: 12 March 1986
c.1867-8 enlarged 1890, by A. Buckeridge. Rusticated and banded limestone and ironstone with slate roof. Aisled nave, chancel with apse, south chapel and north and west porches. Single storey with undercroft. Apse of 3-window range of 2-light windows with plate tracery and quatrefoil above. South elevation: vestry of 2-window range of single lancets with 2-light undercroft windows below; similar east windows. South aisle of 5-window range of 2-light windows with plate tracery and quatrefoil above. 2-stage butresses between windows and lean-to roof with chamfered cornice. 2-window range of chancel behind lady chapel is of two 2-light windows with plate tracery and quatrefoils above. North aisle of 4-window range, similar to south aisle with gabled porch to right. West gable elevation has lean-to porch with 4 pairs of small lancet windows and lean-to roof. 3 tall lancet windows above with octagonal window in gable. Nave clerestory of 5-window range of double lancets. Flat buttresses between windows. Blank half bay at west end is repeated in the aisles below, South chancel clerestory of 2-window range of quatrefoils. Pitched roof with ashlar gable parapets, bellcote at east end and finial at west end. Interior: double-chamfered chancel arch with flat responds. 5-bay nave arcade of single chamfered arches on circular piers with large foliated capitals; all decorated with limestone and ironstone banding. South aisle has half arch to vestry. Pair of double doors with pointed heads, to west porch. Wooden barrel roof. Double sedilia and piscina to south of altar. Panelling to apse has gilt foliated decoration. Large marble altar. Perpendicular style rood screen with crucifix above and painted pulpit are early C20. Stained glass by Kempe; apse window of 1887 depicting Biblical scenes, south aisle window 1893 depicting Biblical scenes and the Saints, north aisle windows 1903 depicting the Saints.
The church of All Hallows is the ancient parish church standing to the north of the market square possibly on the site of an earlier church. The building dates from the late twelfth century although the south entrance is all that remains from that time. The church was developed over the centuries and the building we see today was largely finished in the sixteenth century. A concise description of the church is given in the Victoria County History for Northants, Volume 4 (available on www.british-history.ac.uk)
All Hallows is an old dedication which means the same as All Saints. Sometime in the 19th century the church became widely known as St Luke’s although there seems to be no evidence that the dedication was ever to St Luke. The name continued in use and many of the men who enlisted in the Army in the Great War gave their parish of birth as ‘St Lukes’, Wellingborough. Some old picture postcards also refer to St Luke’s and it is perhaps no coincidence that one of three annual fairs in the 17th century was held on the feast of St Luke (Bridges vol 2, p149).