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Wensley parish:

Preston under Scar, History transcription:

The a short history of the Church in St. Margaret's Church, Preston under Scar.

St Margaret to whom the church is dedicated is St Margaret of Antioch, a Virgin Martyr of the 4th century. Her preaching before her death is said to have converted many to Christianity. Her emblem is a dragon which derives from a legend that she was swallowed by a dragon but the cross around her neck caught in his throat and he was forced to regurgitate her. Her feast day is the 20th July which is marked by a Service of Praise and the Village feast.

The Church was built in 1862 by a builder named Hammond on the instructions of Lord Bolton. It was originally a Mission Room and remained the property of Lord Bolton. While providing for the spiritual needs of the village he also provided a Fives court at the west end of the village to encourage physical recreation. The seating faced west with a reading desk and a lecturn on a platform. An organ stood on another platform at the east end and the choir sat on the south side from the rear of the door. It was lit by paraffin lamps suspended on chains until electricity came to the village in 1935.

In 1933 the building was re-ordered with the addition of the small chancel and the seating being turned to face east. The pulpit, reading desk and lecturn date from this time. It was heated by a cast iron tortoise stove until 1989.

On the 30th December 1934 the building was conveyed from Lord Bolton to the Diocese of Ripon. It was licensed 'for the performance of Divine Service and the administration of the sacraments and for the publication of the Banns of Marriage and for the solemnization of marriages as from February 12th 1935' It remains a Mission church within the parish of Wensley.

The mural was painted by by Muriel Metcalfe of Leyburn who later married the well-known local artist Fred Lawson.

St Margaret's continues to provide a focus of worship within the community.

Data transcribed by
Jack Parry.
from photography by Colin Hinson

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