Welcome to St. Bertoline's, Barthomley, Cheshire

Why we're here today -

That the community may know that St Bertoline's is here to profess the faith, to celebrate it

in worship and prayer, and to share it in fellowship, so that we may say

"We would see Jesus".

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The Rectory Barthomley May 19th 2017

My dear Friends,

Mysteriouser and mysteriouser!

The plot thickens around Moses and Aaron! To apply successfully for grants towards the restoration of the two paintings that had graced the west wall of the Nave for goodness knows how long, we need to show how the Church came by them and to demonstrate that they belong to the Church.

The widely held opinion, not seriously challenged, was that the two paintings came from Crewe Hall – probably salvaged after the fire in the mid 1860’s. This was just hearsay, with no evidence to back it up.

Something rather more convincing was required. So two intrepid PCC members undertook an investigation. Our two, (we’ll call them Mint and Cummin, ably abetted by Dill to keep it biblical (Matthew 23:23), delved into the deep recesses of the Cheshire Records Office. There they turned up the Churchwardens’ accounts and records for 1899, in which was raised the question as to how Moses and Aaron, who had disappeared from St Bertoline’s sixty years ago (long before the Crewe Hall fire), had got into the hands of the London and North Western Railway. Had our Israelite heroes been seconded to grace the walls of the newly opened Crewe Arms at its opening in 1838.

Were Moses and Aaron thought to be a suitable blandishment for the new iron horse hostelry‘s foyer? No doubt the Crewe estate was heavily involved in the coming of the railway and Crewe becoming the centre of activity. As was nearly always the case for generation after generation the Rector of Barthomley was one of the Crewe family, and in 1838 that was Edward Hinchcliffe (the second of that name. His grandfather, John – Bishop of Peterborough – had married one of the Crewe daughters.) Not a problem to see how the paintings found themselves in the new hotel. All that is only a theory, of course, and may well be shot down in flames. Whatever may be the case, it doesn’t answer the new question – what was the origin of the paintings which, apparently, disappeared from St Bertoline’s sometime around 1830-40. As to who painted Moses and Aaron, we are no wiser. Pevsner in his book on the Buildings of Cheshire seems grudgingly to admit that they have a surprising quality. Until the restoration is complete we may know little more.

Meanwhile, our sleuths, may be off to ‘the smoke’ to rummage more deeply in the Crewe archives. Happy hunting!

Best wishes to you all,

Darrel Speedy

Latest updates

Organ Recitals

Parish News/ Darrel /Calendar : 22nd June 2017
2016 Accounts & Music Director's report 27 March 2017
Annual Vestry Meeting 2017, Annual PCC Meeting 2017 23rd June 20177