The New St. Nicholas Church

   1840 - 1901



The Church 380



The new St. Nicholas Church consisted of a nave, with a south aisle and a tower with spire.   There was no proper chancel, no stained glass windows, no statues and little adornment.   But, to the population of Newport, it was their new church, and the "Chronicle" reported that "the church was greatly admired by the multitude".   The Communion Plate used on the occasion of the Consecration was a magnificent gift from the then Sub-Dean, Thomas Manners Sutton.   An article in the "Chronicle" of 4th December 1840 said: "The Communion Plate is of solid silver, beautifully chaste in design and ornaments, and sized to the use of a large parish church.   The elegant and expensive Altar Cloth, with a rich cushion, hangings of the pulpit and reading desk were presented by the already great benefactor, the Rev'd H.W. Sibthorpe of Washingborough".   The silver of 1840 remains our pride and joy today.


Various changes were to take place during the first fifty years.   The pews were renovated and the pulpit moved to a more commanding position.   The old harmonium was replaced by an organ in 1868, built by the local firm of Nicholson of 21 Newport, at a cost of £217 19s 0d, (two hundred and seventeen pounds and nineteen shillings).  The organ was purchased with the help of subscriptions and personal donations, including one of 2/6d, (two shillings and six pence - twelve and a half pence today), from a widow, who said that she found enjoyment from this valuable enrichment to the worship in the parish church.


In 1879 a Faculty was granted for a large number of changes, but, sadly, many had to be postponed because of financial difficulties, including a new north aisle.   However, a three light stained glass window was installed at the east end depicting the Crucifixion at a cost of £260, the money being raised by subscriptions and guarantees.


On Easter Monday 1879 the death occurred of William Cooke Norton of the Manor House, Newport.   He had lived in the parish for thirty years and had been a churchwarden at St. Nicholas for twenty-five of those years.   In his will he left a sum of money to the church, which enabled other improvements to be made.   In 1880 a further three light stained glass window was added in the south aisle at a cost of £160.   A new reredos was placed in the chancel in 1882 as a gift from the family of William Cooke Norton, and was intended to be a memorial to him.   This cost £140.   Also in 1882 the Working Men's Committee presented a gift of a new lectern.   The two light east window in the South Chapel, depicting St. Peter and St. Paul, is dedicated to the memory of George Wileman who died on 25th March 1889, aged fifty-nine.   A gallery had been erected in 1841, but, by 1891, it was declared unfit to be used by adults or by children, on sanitary and other grounds, and was taken down.   It had not been used for some time, and the children had been transferred to the Church of St. Matthias, at the junction of Yarborough Road and Burton Road, the newly built Chapel-of-Ease erected in 1890-1.  The vicar throughout most of this period was Canon Frederick Blenkin (1861 - 1901), and a memorial brass plate to his memory is fixed to the north wall near to where the pulpit stood in his day.   The inscription on the plate includes that fact that he "preached so eloquently during his long ministry of 40 years".