This place was quite popular for a good few months as it was quite a rarity in exploring, it was a derelict church, but it was not at all trashed, the exact opposite infact, it looked like people has just upped and left and could come back at any moment.
I do love a good old church, maybe it comes from my religious upbringing and the amount of time I spent in churches whilst growing up, whatever it is, they are just fascinating places, they are always architecturally stunning and also very peaceful places, always with a good atmosphere.
So, one bright, but rather cold December morning we headed off and into this former place of worship and I was not disappointed with what I found. The place was still stocked full of everything from communal wine and alter bread, through to candles and religious statues (I was abit concerned that the amount of candles would prove to be far too tempting to the wrong people, who may stumble upon the place).
It was a nice morning and we probably spent a good three hours in the place just taking everything in.
The area of Higher Booths was reliant on St Mary & All Saints at Goodshaw to provide a place of worship for the Anglican community from the mid-sixteenth century. By the 1880s, with the rapidly increasing population of Crawshawbooth, it was unable to cope, with the demand for pews being fifty applicants for every pew vacancy.
At the same time as this rise in population the Brooks family where also rising in prestige and wealth. The Brooks family, who were cattle dealers from Whalley, came to Crawshawbooth at the turn of the 18th century acquiring Sunnyside House and then added Crawshaw Hall in 1831. They owned Sunnyside Print works and also a number of quarries in the Rossendale area from which a lot of the local houses and mills were built. In 1884 Thomas Brooks became High Sheriff of Lancashire and was created Baron Crawshaw in 1892. They also had houses at Tarporley in Cheshire and Long Whatton, Leicestershire.
In 1888 Thomas Brooks donated the land and £3,000 towards the building of St John the Evangelist (total cost approx. £12,000), the exterior of which is built of local stone with `York` stone dressing and the interior is red Rainhill sandstone. The Church which was consecrated 25th October 1892 is often referred to as “The Cathedral of Rossendale”. The Church was originally served by the vicars of Goodshaw, but in 1899 it was created an independent Parish and remained so until 1984 when the benefice became a joint one with Goodshaw.