St. John's Mission Church, Weston.

Heath Road South, Weston

The School was built in 1863 on land donated by Major Orred and who also gave £500 towards the building fund. The building was ecclesiastical in character and design and arranged to serve the double purpose of School and Church. It was opened on 23rd April, 1864 and was under the superintendence of a trained and certificated Master whose sister superintended the needlework. The intention was to commence Divine Services in the School as soon as funds could be raised to secure the services of a resident Minister. Thus were taken the first steps to establish an independent Parochial District. It was 1930 before this happened.

The cost of the School, house and playground was £1,196.33. It was built of Weston stone from the quarries of Messrs J.L. Wright. The exterior walls were hammer dressed with chiselled dressings. The interior was lined with brick, varied in design by the introduction of coloured bricks. There was an open timbered roof and, together with the classroom at the eastern end, was arranged to accommodate 150 children. The classroom was designed to convert into a chancel and was screened from the school by an archway around which, as well as under the wallplates of the school, were painted appropriate texts.

The foundation stone was laid by Major Orred on 24th July, 1863. The stone for the building was donated by Messrs Wright. Major local donations were made by Messrs Johnson, and Philip Whiteway, and there was a contribution of £42 from the National Society. The opening was celebrated with a tea party presided over by the Rev. John Barclay, the Vicar of Runcorn. Pupils were admitted from 18th April and the initial attendance was 46 pupils.

Later, in 1865, the Rev. Barclay was able to report that Divine Service had started from 14th May, 1865, twice on Sundays and the District having been placed under the Curacy of the Rev. John Edward Hughes, B. A., late scholar of St. Catherine's College, Cambridge. The necessary funds to pay him had not been raised but the Rev. Barclay indicated his trust in "the Christian liberality of those interested in the Township". A choir had been formed and a harmonium gifted by Mr. & Mrs John Brundritt. Between 14th May 1865 and 25th March 1866 a total of 97 Services had been held with an average attendance of 102 in mornings and 138 at evenings.

A Sunday School was started on 11th June 1865 with an average attendance of 37 each morning and 55 each afternoon. In the Report for 1867 Rev. Barclay notes that the work of the Curate in Weston is pastoral rather than evangelical as the proportion of adults attending no place of worship and of children attending no school being comparatively small. Every house in the township was regularly visited. In that year there were 142 houses and cottages in the village. In October 1872 the Rev. Hughes moved on to become Vicar of Hales, in Staffordshire.

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