St Andrew's Church 
Kettering Northamptonshire UK   

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The Church Building


When the Reverend Canon Henry Lindsay was appointed Rector of Kettering in 1863, the town was growing rapidly, especially in the Rockingham Road area. On Sunday 6th January 1866, services began in the old North End School, in Northall Street (which later became used as parish rooms, known as 'The Institute'). These proved popular and soon the new church building was well under way. Later the Rector gave a piece of land in Rockingham Road and the Foundation Stone was laid on 31st October 1868 by George Watson Esq. of Rockingham Castle (Patron of the Living of Kettering).

Church viewed from Rockingham Road

The church, designed by a well known architect, George Edmund Street ARA and built by Messrs Barlow & Butlin, is striking in appearance and occupies a prominent position on the northern edge of the town centre. 

It was consecrated by the Bishop of Peterborough, William Connor Magee, on Thursday 9th June 1870 to serve the local area, then within the parish of SS Peter and Paul, and became a parish church in 1916. It is built in a warm coloured ironstone with a Collyweston slated roof, containing a chancel, nave and two aisles with chairs seating over 300 people. The north aisle was added in the 1920's as a memorial to those who served and died in WWI.

site plan | church windows

A Virtual Tour

Entering by the South Porch and then moving round the building in a clockwise direction you can follow this guided tour of  the church. You can also use the plan on the right and click on any areas that may be of interest. The numbers around the plan refer to the stained glass windows. 

South Porch

Part of the original building of 1870. Glass Door was added in 1972. Inside the Church hangs a wooden plaque commemorating the original donation and that for the North Aisle, from the Incorporated Church Building Society. The Umbrella Stand was a gift in 1908.

A recent addition outside is a wheelchair access ramp and new steps to the South Porch. At the same time the gate by the Choir Vestry was relocated to accommodate wheelchair access.

Church Plan

Western Aspect     site plan | church plan | top | windows

To your left is the Stained West window which was Graham M Pentelow's first commission. (Note the plaque and inscribed description on either side of the West Door) The two clear windows on either side commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977. 

The Holy, Holy, Holy board above the West Door dates from 1907 and was originally a Super Altar (= above), built by Mr Lewis, carved by Miss Tolputt and gilded by Mr Cooper. Removed, possibly with the Sanctuary renovations in 1949, it was found in the cellar in 1999, renovated by H J (Jack) Wilson and erected in its new place in November of that year.

Turning your back to the window you look the full length of the Nave to the High Altar situated at the east end of the Chancel to enjoy the architecture of the whole building. 

Font - donated by 'Mothers' and the cover by the residents of the Northall area in 1870.

Paschal Candlestick - donated Easter 1998 and turned by Mike Cawthorne of Lower Benefield. 

The Table on which rest the Memorial Book and Gift Book, was donated in October 1947. Other tables have also been given in memoriam - look for plaques on them giving details. 

Book Stand with cupboard, in memoriam.

Click here to download a high resolution .jpg of this window (377Kb)
The west window

North Aisle     site plan | church plan | top | windows

Built as a War Memorial in 1925 at a total cost of £4300. Funding for the North Aisle was begun originally in the 1890s but continued apace from 1918 and included £500 “from our Non-conformist Brethren” Foundation Stone of North Aisle laid in the corner on 30 April 1925 by Rev A S Lindsay [son of Canon Henry Lindsay] and completed in time for Dedication on 28 November 1925 by the Diocesan Bishop, Cyril C B Bardsley. Roll of Honour of those who served in the Great War 1914-18 hangs on the north wall. Wood block flooring of 1925 replaced the tiles of the original church floor. 

War Memorial Window [2] is by the William Morris Company and dates from 1925. In Memory of Cecil Hugh Essam, it also commemorates other brave men of this parish who were killed in the Great War. 

Essam Window [3] also from the William Morris Company and installed in 1930 by the congregation in memory of Alfred Hugh Essam, Organist for 49 years (father of Cecil). 

Memorial Plaque lists those from this Parish who died in the First World War, 1914-18. Note a Nurse is also commemorated. Memorial Book Dedicated 11 November 2001 containing details of those associated with St Andrew's who died in the service of their country. 

Mothers' Union Banner presented by the Members in 1954. This was renovated in 1993, given new backing cloth and 'St Andrew, Kettering' appliquéd on the back. Altar Frontal Cupboard 1952/3. Note “In memoriam” inscriptions. Prayer Desk was given in 1954. 

Side Chapel     site plan | church plan | top | windows

T his Chapel was completed in 1953, commemorated by a plaque on the wall. The window [4] was given by the members of the parish and congregation in memory of King George VI [the first such in the town] and both were Dedicated on 30 September 1953 by Bishop Spencer Leeson. 

Plaque to commemorate the Jubilee of the church's Consecration 9th June 1920. Pulpit & Timpanum (sound board) given in 1929 and designed by Mr Leslie T Moore. Note St Andrew's fishing net. 

This oak pulpit replaced a temporary one used after the North Aisle was built. There had been 2 others - the original in 1870 and the second, of stone support with wrought iron, given in 1898 along with the two clergy stalls. The lines of the steps of this are still visible on the stonework. 

Lectern given in 1950 also designed by Mr Leslie T Moore. From this end of the church you can fully appreciate the design and colours of the West Window at the back of the church. 

Choir Stalls and Oak Screen to south of choir are original with the building. Hymn Indicator 1888 given by Mr C Brewer (Churchwarden 1888 & 89), “made of oak in the form of a Cross” by Mr G Hone “an excellent piece of workmanship” (Quotes from Kettering Parish Magazine, July 1888). Restored 2001 by Julie Crick of Cambridge. Processional Cross In 1896 this was bought from subscriptions and replaced the banner formally used.

Sanctuary      site plan | church plan | top | windows

Refurbished as a war memorial in 1949 and an inscribed tablet of Hopton Wood stone set in the floor. The Holy Table was lengthened; a new oak Communion Rail, complete with gate and blue felt kneelers; oak Riddel Posts and new hangings, were installed. The brass cross and candlesticks were replaced with silver ones. The design was by the Wareham Guild. Bishop's Chair was given in 1925. 

East Window [5] Canon Henry Lindsay died 3rd May 1892. This memorial window designed by Mr C E Kempe (look for his wheatsheaf symbol.) Plain Windows in the chancel were replaced in 1972.

Organ: At the Consecration of the Church, a Harmonium was used “on loan for one year”. An early offering to the Organ Fund was from a “lover of music” who gave 6d [2½p] in 1869 and in 1880 an organ was installed by Messrs Wordsworth & Maskell of Leeds, and Dedicated on 31st May. All organ pipes and associated equipment were situated in the original vestry area to the south of the choir with console in south choir stalls.

By 1910, Mr Essam (and the organ) had given 30 years service, a major clean was undertaken and a further 'stop' added. Further similar work was carried out in 1927 and several times over the years the organ was cleaned, refurbished or re-ordered as necessary with money being raised by subscription. In 1960 a major re-ordering of the original two manual and pedal pipe organ with attached console and pneumatic action took place. It was reconstructed with a detached stop-key console and electric action by Messrs Alfred E Davies & Son of Northampton and console put near eastern-most pillar in South Aisle. The Organ Casing in the chancel was restored in 1977. A New Organ from Makin of Oldham was installed 9th April 2001, first used on 15th April (Easter Day),  and Dedicated at Choral Evensong on Saturday 3rd November 2001 by Canon Philip Spence. It is a three manual, 42 stop digital electronic organ. The speakers are situated above the Archive area, and behind the façade of the remaining organ pipes of 1880. Makin Church Organ Builders acquired part of Compton Organs Ltd in 1970 who were successors to the John Compton Organ Company - famous pipe organ builders, whose farsighted founder pioneered the original research into the electronic production of organ tones in the 1920's. In 1980 a completely new range of organs was introduced incorporating a revolutionary new solid state system of generation and tone production.

Archive Area Originally the Choir Vestry, the space was filled with organ pipes and swell boxes etc when the 1880 organ was installed. With the removal of this instrument after 120 years, the area is again available and now has a Canadian oak staircase to the loft above and archive display cabinets given in memoriam. Mounted on the wall is part of an original organ pipe showing the painting and design of the time. The Organ's Lighted Music Stand given in 1978 was made into a portable lectern. 

Vicar's Vestry. Loft room built above and cupboards installed 1974 

Choir Vestry cost was raised in the parish 1898-1900 and Dedicated by Bishop Mandell Creighton, on 8th March 1900.

South Aisle     site plan | church plan | top | windows

Children's Corner paid for by the Mothers' Union Branch and Dedicated 13th October 1960. Note the painting of Christ the Carpenter by Henry Bird 1909-2000. The decorative design of this area was by the Artist, the work carried out by Mr Bernard Bates of Northampton who also cut the stencils for the patterns and applied the gold leaf embellishment. Lindsay Plaque just to the left, commemorates the vision and huge part Canon Lindsay played in the planning and building of St Andrew's Church. Henry Bird was born in Northampton and was a student at Northampton College of Art and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. Early among his public works was the Rood Screen decoration for Earls Barton Church painted in 1934. In 1936 he became a lecturer at Aberystwyth University and later married actress Freda Jackson whom he had met when she played at Northampton Repertory Theatre (now the Royal). He became head scene painter at the 'Old Vic' and Sadlers Wells. “The Muses Contemplating Northampton” was painted for the Guildhall in 1949 and a decorative scheme painted at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London University. In the early '50s he took up a teaching post at Northampton School of Art and a number of local decorative schemes date from this period, including work in the chapel at St Crispin's Hospital and for the dining room and chapel at Danetre Hospital, Daventry; mural decorations at Denton Church, 1974; “Ecton; Seven Ages”, 1976, was in the sitting room at the Ecton Conference Centre. The Royal Theatre's safety curtain was painted in 1977/8 and is an impressive piece of work, with much to occupy the theatregoer during the interval. Other work is in permanent collections in the National Library of Wales, and in Carlisle, Brighton and Northampton galleries. 

South Altar Table by Robert Thompson of Kilburn, North Yorkshire dates from 1993 [look for the mouse]. Communion rail and credence table made by Mike Cawthorne 1999 Candle Sticks fashioned from old organ pipes by J D Pell 2001. 

South Clear Windows [6] in memoriam date from 1972-1988. [note coloured cross in one window]. Stained Glass Window [7] - money given in 1888, also designed by Kempe - King Solomon & the prophet Nehemiah - installed 1906. Plaque in memory John Bernard Cooper who fell in his 19th year at Tigersburg, South Africa 7th August 1900. 

Chairs date from October 1895 when 520 old chairs were sold and subscriptions collected bought new ones at a cost of £110. These were re-furbished in 1990/1991 by subscription and memorial plaques donated. 

Other items including Communion Vessels, Bibles, hymn books and psalters, kneelers, flower vases and stands have been donated over the past 130 years by the generous members of this church and parish. Often this has been by individuals but for more expensive items, the subscriptions have been by fundraising - many small amounts making the larger whole. A record of these is in the Gift Book on the table at the back.

Please give thanks for the many benefactors who have, and continue, to keep this place of worship worthy of its purpose. Pray also for those who worship here and the people who live in this parish.

Site Plan     church plan | top | windows

Site Plan

The Vicarage

A New Vicarage was built in 1997 using similar materials to the church and replaced the older, and much larger, vicarage which still occupies the adjacent site.

The Former Vicarage

It is interesting to look back over the life of the former Vicarage built in 1896 - to this purpose the following notes are extracted from 'The Early History of Saint Andrew's Church, Kettering' largely the work of Isobel Smith and published in 1988. Much of the information was drawn from the magazine of the parish of St Peter and St Paul, which as the ancient parish church of Kettering was its mother church from the consecration of St Andrew's in 1870 until 1916 when it became a separate parish.

  • We understand that the circumstances of the building of what was then known as 'St Andrew's Church House' were unique in that the Church Commissioners had never before received application for Rectory Estate Royalties to be invested in the building of a house for a Curate-in-charge, with a view to the house becoming the Vicarage as and when the new parish was formed.

  • The building was occupied during WWI up to 1916 by the Army under the command of the Marquis of Tullibardine.

  • A room, commonly referred to as the 'Parish Room' was built immediately adjacent to the Vicarage for the purpose of holding meetings etc. This was funded by the family of the Priest-in-Charge who first occupied the Vicarage, Rev Guy Landon. The then Archbishop of Capetown, Rt Rev W W Jones, who was related and visiting at the time dedicated the 'Parish Room' which over the years has been used for many meetings and organisations, latterly for storage of scout equipment.

  • The last Vicar to occupy the house, Rev Philip Jepps, kept a couple of sheep on the lawn when he first arrived.

The Institute       plan | top | windows

The first meeting place of St Andrew's Church.
It was then used for many years as the parish rooms, until it was demolished to make way for Kettering's new road system.

Back to Our Church
Stained Glass Windows
Walking the Parish Boundaries

Confirmations - Bishop Eliud from Bungoma
The New Choir Screen