Saint Faith’s Church, Great Crosby owes its existence to one man: Howard Douglas Horsfall, who was its founder and benefactor. A member of an influential and wealthy family of churchmen, he was also responsible for the founding of other Liverpool Anglican churches, as well as an institution for training men for the priesthood, which subsequently became a University College. The intention of these pages is to gather together and progressively to present information about those aspects of Douglas Horsfall’s life which touch upon Saint Faith’s, Great Crosby, as well as providing some background facts about his family and the various other benefactions for which he and they are responsible. This writer makes no claims to any expert knowledge of these subjects, and is engaged on a process of discovery and authentication which is not yet complete. Grateful acknowledgement is due to Mary Rae, the grand-daughter of ‘H.D.H’ and a fund of knowledge and information about the family, for the supply of memories and resources about the family, its connections and achievements. I am also grateful to Mark Sargant of Crosby Library Reference Section for his assistance.
The links in the index below will give access to a series of articles on various Horsfall-related topics, which are being activated and augmented with the passage of time. It is not intended that these ‘chapters’ should be seen as an unfolding book, nor as definitive statements about their topics, but rather as a series of independent but connected illustrations of a life and an achievement mainly as reflected in one suburban church. It is, however, this writer’s hope that this amateur archive may preserve and record as much as possible one man’s remarkable, dedicated and generous achievement.
November 2007. Mr Frank Cranmer, who is engaged upon writing a history of St Chad's, Durham, has supplied me with new material, for which I am most grateful.
These are reproduced in the form of The Times obituary and the 'Munificent Benefactor' feature linked below..
September 2008. Links restored and repaired and some minor errors corrected.
February 2013. Several linked pages corrected, updated or amplified.
February 25th, 2013. A new feature by John Woodley opened (see last listed link below).
April 10th, 2013. A second piece of research by John Woodley added.
The Laying of the Foundation Stone of Saint Faith’s Church. Some details and photographs of the event in 1898.
Douglas Horsfall and St Chad’s. The outline story of the foundation of St Chad’s College, University of Durham, patrons of the living of Saint Faith's.
The Founding of Saint Faith’s: the Myers Connection. The story of how our church came into being, with an exploration of the legend of the gift of the land.
Douglas Horsfall and Liverpool Cathedral. The controversy over the proposed reredos for the new cathedral. (revised November 11th, 2007)
The ‘Great Crucifix’ at St Faith’s. A magazine article about the gift and origins of one of Horsfall’s later benefactions.
'A Munificent Benefactor' A 'Church Times' article about the 1935 jubilee celebrations at St Agnes, Ullet Road, including information about other Horsfall churches built as a result of benefactions from the Horsfall family. (added November 23rd, 2007)
Obituary tribute. Douglas Horsfall's obituary in The Times - and a link to an important subsequent correction (added November 11th, 2007)
Mary Rae’s visit. Under the title ‘The Horsfall Connection’, this article from our church magazine ‘Newslink’ records the visit in January 2004 to St Faith’s of the founder’s grand-daughter. The next month's issue (HERE) featured a brief update with corrections!
Robert Elcum Horsfall. Douglas Horsfall's son, killed in the First World War, and his links with Saint Faith's.
'Howard Douglas Horsfall - Delving into the past' The first instalment of parishioner John Woodley's researches into the life and origins of our founder and benefactor
Hunting for Horsfalls: Charles Horsfall's story The second piece of research by John Woodley, featuring slaves, flowers and Everton Binns (added April 10th, 2013)
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