St. John's the Evangelist Church, Bigrigg was opened in 1880 as a chapel-of-ease positioned mid-way between the settlements at Bigrigg and Moor Row. The Bishop's register in Carlisle for the years 1872-1895 states that:—
"... a parcel of land hath been voluntarily given by Henry Jefferson of Springfield and duly conveyed to Edmund Strickland ..." (the then Rector)
This entry is accompanied by a plan of the church showing access by a path and gate at the back of the plot leading to Springfield House. The license for a new Curate for the parish, (a William Morgan Stoate), was granted at the same time.
The building cost £3000 and accommodated 250 worshipers. The architect was C.J. Ferguson of Carlisle and the builder was John Smith of Egremont, who also rebuilt the parish church at Egremont for completion three years later. The church was so designed that it could be easily enlarged should the need arise. It is typically Victorian with a central aisle and open pews except for the choir stalls in the chancel.
Features of the church include two good stained-glass windows, one behind the altar and one behind the font. Both were gifts of the Jefferson family of Springfield who also provided the interesting east window for the parish church at Egremont.
The wall of the chancel was removed and a new choir vestry and organ chamber were erected in 1926, when a conventional church organ was installed. The original hand-pump system was replaced in 1952, when flood-lighting and electric central heating were also installed. More recently, maintenance costs forced the complete replacement of the old organ by a modern electronic device.
The paneling in the chancel was given by parishioners, the book-rest by the Scouts and Guides and the Litany Desk by St. John's Entertainments Committee.
Mrs Clarke also executed a deed of gift:—
"... of No. 9 St. John's Terrace, Bigrigg in the parish of Egremont as a house of residence for the curate or minister for the time being of St. John's, Bigrigg and if sold or let proceeds and income to be used for same or to augment the stipend of the curate or minister ..."
In the grounds outside the church, a tree was planted in memory of William James Nicholson, Verger, who died in 1973, and who for many years had devotedly cared for St. John's Church and its churchyard.
St John's celebrated its centenary with a special service and a number of events in 1980.
General views of St Johns - showing a few external views, Sunday school Flower display for the Church's centenary
List of Curates and Clergy up to 1980, not complete so if you have nay further information, I will add, please e-mail me here
Wm. Edmund Strickland 1880-1887 Wm. Morgan Stoate 1880
W. Thwaites 1887-1923 H.S. Moore 1888-1891
Ed. Walter Ridley 1890-1893
W. Taylor 1891-L894
E.G. Bennett 1893-1894
R. Woodward 1894-1899
C. Norris 1894-1896
G. Fisher 1898-1900
J. Wharton 1899-1902
W.P. Roberts 1901-1902
J. Ashworth 1902-1910
J. Deason 1903-1916
J.W. Dixon 1911-1911
Wm. Fryer 1911-1915
G.L. Woodhouse 1916-1917
W.E. Stopford 1917-1923
Irvine Earnshaw 1923-1939 Fred Johnson 1923-1924
H.H. Vickers 1924-1927
James Owen 1928-1928
L. Ashcroft 1929-1930
H.G. Eggleton 1931-1940
Wm. J. Bucks 1939-1950 Ed. Edwardes 1940-1944
J.A. Shaw 1944-1949
Ian M. German 1950-1966 H.T. Batey 1950-1952
W.H. Murdoch 1953-1954
W.R.B. Chown 1955-1958
A.P. Stephenson 1958-1960
L.A. Goddard 1961-1965
John D. Kelly 1965-1967
E.R. Chapman 1966-1970 N. Whitton 1967-1970
F.V. Adams 1970-1972
J. Blakesley 1974-1977
Peter E. Mann 1978-1980