Church History

The Church of St John The Evangelist Brigg.

( A potted history)

There was no church in Brigg until 1699. Brigg was only a tiny hamlet at this time, the Parish Church being at Wrawby. As the town began to develop because of the river and increased trade, and to counteract the influence of Non-conformists, some local men secured the land and monies to build a chapel-of-ease in Brigg. From 1699 to 1716 there was a daily service and a weekly sermon conducted by the Master of Brigg Grammar School (now Sir John Nelthorpe School ) and after this date by the Vicar of Wrawby or his Curate.

The 1699 building was smaller than the present church and was in the classical style of architecture. (For anyone interested there is a small model which stands on the altar of the Children’s Chapel in the church). This church served the population of Brigg until the 1840’s, by which time Brigg was beginning to expand even more and local people thought a larger church was needed. After appeals and discussions the present building was finally erected in 1843. It was still a Chapel-of-ease until 1872 when it became a parish church with its own vicar Rev’d W.J.Wylie.

The building was the same as that of the chapel-of-ease, though internal changes were made. New pews were inserted, the stained glass window remained and an additional west wing stained glass window was added. (The ‘Brierley Memorial’- window and brass.) A service of dedication for the new window was held on Tuesday 24th July 1894. A further three stained glass windows have been added.

The windows:-

The ‘Brierley memorial’ west window design is as follows- Centre light: figure of our Lord rising in triumph from the grave, within an oval of the form known as ‘vesica piscis’, common in early Christian art. In His left hand is the orb the symbol of sovereignty. Around the figure are the words- ‘He is risen’. Northern light: Figures of our Lord and two disciples on the way to Emmaus with the words-‘Abide with me’. The southern light depicts the Angel speaking to the two Mary’s at the tomb with the words-‘Whom seek you?’

The ‘Richards’ east window given by Mrs T.G. Richards in memory of her late husband (Tiger) a Latin master at the Grammar School (now St John Nelthorpe School ) design is as follows-The centre panel depicts Christ in Glory; to the right St John holds St John’s Church and to the left St David, the patron saint of Wales where Mr Richards was born. Below there are scenes of the town, namely the Buttercross, Town Bridge and the Grammar School.

On the south side of the church are two windows, firstly one given by Mrs J. R. Wallhead dedicated to the memory of her husband who was a Churchwarden for many years. This window depicts St Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln 1186-1200.

The second window was given by Mrs Joan Robinson in memory of her late husband Wilf who was a local farmer and landowner. This window depicts Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln 1885-1910.

The church in the centre of Brigg, is a hub of activity and is open to welcome visitors any Thursday morning or at times of any service.