A history of love and marriage at St. Chad’s Church, Kirkby

As part of Knowsley Borough of Culture 2022, couples who married in St Chad’s Church, Kirkby, were invited to renew their vows on Valentine’s Day under Luke Jerram’s beautiful replica of planet earth, Gaia.

To celebrate a history of love and marriage at St. Chads, this digital exhibition has been curated featuring the stories, memories and photographs of couples taking part in the Mass Renewal of Vows at St Chad’s Church and others who were married there.

Thank you to all the couples who participated in the project by sharing their memories and photographs of their special day.

This digital exhibition has been made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Read each couple’s story here.

The name Kirk-by means Church and Settlement. The Norse are believed to have arrived via Ireland around 900AD, which is over 1000 years ago, when a simple chapel is said to have stood on the same land as the current St. Chad’s Church stands today.

Inside St. Chad’s a surviving red sandstone Norman font is on display, which has been used for baptisms since the Viking age, meaning couples may have been marrying on the site of St. Chad’s for over 1000 years. To find out more about the history of Knowsley visit Knowsley Archives

The earliest written record of marriage on St. Chad’s site was in the ancient chapel that existed on the site before today’s church was built in 1871. The marriage was between a Raph Tatlocke and Jane Woodes, who wed on the 9th of October 1630.

The first marriage to take place in the current St. Chad’s Church was between Farmer Thomas Pickup, aged 28 and Jane Woods, age 37 on 12 December 1871. Both the bride and grooms’ parents were also farmers. To find out more about the History of St. Chad’s visit the Lancashire Online Parish Clerks website or the Liverpool Records Office.