Warrington Parish Church is an outstanding part of our national and ecclesiastical heritage. A Church has stood on the site since about 650 AD. There was a Priest here at the time the Domesday Book was compiled in l087. Its succession of Rectors goes back to 1180 when Robert is recorded as as being Rector but there were, it is believed, Rectors before that.
Nothing survives above ground of the original building, nor of its successor, the first stone building. The chancel and crypt though restored and altered over the centuries, are the oldest parts of the present building, being built by Sir William Boteler in 1354, when he erected a new church of considerable proportions.
In 1642 the civil war brought terrible times to Warrington and in 1643 both church and town suffered such destruction as is hard to imagine.
In 1647 it is recorded in the old Vestry Minute Book that it is "ordered and agreed upon by the then present of the parish in respect of many things wanting as particularly for the repair of the Church now for destroyed in respect of the long disturbance as also for the repair of glass and bells and clock,.... That the new wardens shall collect and gather one whole church ley towards the repairing and supplying of all and singular such destroyed and wanting as shall be thought needful."
Shelled and badly damaged by the Parliamentary forces in the Civil War of the 17th Century, the tower had to be rebuilt in 1696 and the nave was rebuilt in l770. The body of the Church received immediate attention so that worship might be continued; in 1696 the tower was taken down and rebuilt, and in 1698 the bells were recast. The Minute Book records "the Bringing Home the Bells".
The south aisle was added in the early l9th century. The whole building was restored in the l850s. It was then that the spire was added - the third highest parish church spire in England.
Warrington Parish Church, more than any other building, sums up the history of the town. It contains the Boteler (also the Regimental) Chapel and the Patten Chapel and the graves and memorials of many former Warringtonians. Its contents are of considerable historical and artistic interest. So people come from all over the town to see it and, indeed, from all over the country and even the world.
For centuries our churches have been open for private prayer and meditation and as quiet places for all to come to. In view of all this, the Parochial Church Council decided some time ago to explore ways of opening up the Church for visitors, in addition to the services. As a result the church is now open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and each Wednesday from 2 pm. to 5 pm during the months of May to September. Groups can also be shown round by special arrangement at other times and days.