St Lawrence’s Church

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St Lawrence’s is the oldest church in Scunthorpe, being built in the C12th. It was substantially rebuilt in the C19th when the development of the steel works lead to a rapid increase in population. The chancel was extended in 1913, a clerestory added to the nave and a second south aisle. Only the short stumpy tower survives from the original building as well as the dog tooth carving on the entrance to the south porch.

It is almost impossible to photograph the outside of the church in summer as tall trees planted in the graveyard obscure the views. The best pictures are taken in Spring when the trees are bare and the ground is carpeted with daffodils.

Inside it is a large but rather bare, characterless church. Arcades of either round or octagonal columns with pointed arches separate nave and side aisles and there is another arcade separating the south aisle from the later and small extension. Some of the columns between nave and south aisle still have their original carved capitals and the arches their ’nut and bolt’ decoration.

The flat wooden roof with its square gilded bosses dates from the 1913 extension. The bosses are carefully carved with designs of fish, foliage fruits, flowers or a sunburst.

At the back of the church is original C13th font with its lead lining. The cover is late C17th. The rest of the church furnishings are either C19th or C20th.

Steps lead up to the chancel with a low stone wall across. The organ with its painted pipes is set high on the north wall. More steps lead to the high altar with a painted plaster reredos with a Nativity scene. The rest of the east wall below the large plain glass window is covered with linen fold panelling. On the south wall of the chancel is a C19th stained glass window.

The Healey Chapel at the end of the south aisle gets its name from the family memorials. The altar has a carved wood reredos below three tall lancet windows with modern stained glass.

On the north wall is Roll of honour for those who gave their lives in both World Wars. Unusually, the list for the Second World War is nearly as long as for the First World War.

The church with its central location and along the busy main road into scunthorpe is regarded with affection by the local population. From the outside it is a very satisfying church. The inside is less interesting. The large vicarage next to the Church is now part of the North Lincolnshire Museum. The church is usually open, especially in the mornings. There is a service on Thursday mornings. There is plenty of parking in the Church Hall opposite.

There are more pictures “here.”:

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