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History

Sealand is an area of land reclaimed from the river Dee following its canalisation in 1734. During the 1820s the Glynne family of Hawarden wished to provide spiritual and pastoral support for its growing community but it wasn’t until the 1865, when  land was gifted to the people of Sealand by the River Dee Company responsible for managing the land , that construction began. The Company also contributed £1,250 to the building fund.  

The total amount of subscriptions raised was £2,300 and  the foundation stone was laid on Thursday 31 August 1865 by Sir Stephen Glynne, Bart, Lord Lieutenant of Flintshire 

The church was consecrated on Tuesday 15 October 1867 by Bishop Thomas Vowler Short, the Lord Bishop of St Asaph in the presence of John Howson the Dean of Chester, who gave the address, and the chairman of the River Dee Company – the future Prime Minister William Gladstone.  

The Building 

Designed by John Douglas, an internationally acclaimed architect based in Chester , it is built of sandstone quarried from nearby Helsby Hill and transported to the site by local farmers in horse drawn carts. The church interior is ashlar (dressed stone), an open rafted ceiling covers the nave, chancel with scdilia (two stone seats cut into the wall); and a half transept to the north which originally housed a pipe organ. The spaces between the timbers of the chancel roof were decorated with designs in black and gold on a blue ground (since painted over) and red and gold timber patterning.  

The tower stands to the south east of the church and has a pyramid spire. A feature is made out of a vice turret against the lower part of the tower and is only visible from the inside, where a door gives access to the pulpit. The tower houses a single bell and a clock, seated on a ‘quarter’ frame mechanism, which was fitted by John Smith of Derby in 1906.  

Stained Glass 

The architect John Douglas donated the east window, ‘Christ Crucified’. The designer was John Hardman Powell, a nephew of A.W.NPugin and former pupil. His designs  include windows in the Houses of Parliament and St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney. The west window, of the Twelve Apostles, was erected in 1880 and is attributed to Charles Eamer Kempe (1837-1907), a Victorian stained glass designer of world renown.  The two smaller stained glass windows either side of the chancel, depicting grapevines are said to have come from St Deiniol’s Church, Hawarden, which underwent major restoration following a fire in 1857. 

 The font was the gift of Sir Stephen Glynne, Bart., 

 

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