Ian's notebook


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The cover of New Town, Ancient Church'

New Town, Ancient Church - The Story of St. Chad's Kirkby and its Treasures (2021)

This new book, produced with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, tells the story of St. Chad's Church. Whilst the current building - an austere and impressive Gothic Revival building by Paley and Austin - is 150 years old, there has been a place of worship on the same spot for many centuries. For most of that time Kirkby was a farming village of a few hundred souls on the edge of the West Lancashire Plain, a very different place from 21st Century Kirkby. The church is home to the oldest human artifact in Knowsley Borough - the priceless Font in which generations of Kirkby babies have been baptised - as well as a glorious selection of stained glass windows by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Henry Holiday.

Featuring Barry Hale's stunning photographs of the windows, the book is available in printed form from St. Chad's Church or you can download a free e-book (PDF) version by following this link.

The cover of Liverpool's Noblest Victorian Church

Liverpool's Noblest Victorian Church - History, Architecture and Conservation (2018)

Ian tells the story of Grade I Listed St. Agnes & St. Pancras, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, a church with which he has had close connections since his teenage years, from its controversial birth in the highly sectarian 1880s to the phase of major repair and conservation works carried out in 2017 (which Ian project-managed). Produced with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, this lavishly-illustrated book discusses the architecture of the church and its fine stained glass windows in some detail, and gives some fascinating inside information on the work necessary to bring this stunning building into a good state of repair.

The book is available in printed form from the church or you can download a free e-book (PDF) version by following this link.

Heritage & Buildings Newsletter(2014-19)

From 2014 to 2019 Ian's Newsletter, Heritage & Buildings Newsletter, contained a mixture of news, articles and reflections on his work with churches in the Diocese of Liverpool (where he worked at the time) and beyond. A particularly popular feature of H&BN was the series of articles on Europe's Best Churches, drawing on his love of travel and reflecting his membership of the pan-European group Future for Religious Heritage.

Back issues of Ian's newsletter may be downloaded as PDFs using the links below.


Index to Issues 1-9 in PDF Format
Issue 1 - January 2014 Issue 2 - April 2014 Issue 3 - Summer 2014 Issue 4 - Winter 2014/5 Issue 5 - Spring 2015
Issue 6 - Summer 2015 Issue 7 - Autumn 2015 Issue 8 - Winter 2015/6 Issue 9 - Winter 2016/7 Issue 10 - April 2019

The cover of Ian's Maintenance Course Book

Maintenance Course Book

Ian's book, Church Buildings Inspection and Maintenance: An Introduction to the Essentials (3rd Edition) is now SOLD OUT. A new edition featuring updates to the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules, improved diagrams and extra pictures, is in the pipeline for the second half of 2022. Watch this space for details or email for details of pre-order options and news of the likely release date.

The Horsfall Churches - FRH Newsletter Article

The Horsfall Churches - Conserving the Legacy of Liverpool's Great Church Building Family is the title Ian chose when asked to write an article for the monthly online Newsletter of Future for Religious Heritage (May 2017). Looking first chronologically at all nine churches partly or fully paid for by Charles, Robert, George and Douglas Horsfall and then turning to look specifically at the challenges posed to modern conservators by some of the six survivors, Ian tells the story of how these philanthropists from a lost era left their mark upon the city they loved and explains why their legacy needs to be preserved. You can read the article by following this link.

Church Guide Books

Ian has written, or co-written, guide books, leaflets and interpretation material for several churches in Liverpool and beyond. Some of these items are shared here for free download (PDF format) in the hope that they might prove interesting and useful to researchers and church visitors. Ian hopes that those who take advantage of these free downloads will be kind enough to leave a donation for the churches when they do visit in person. Simply click on the underlined link in each case. Currently available are:

- EDGE HILL (LIVERPOOL) - All Saints Parish Church

- PARR MOUNT (ST. HELENS) - Holy Trinity

- TOXTETH - St. Margaret of Antioch

UPDATED June 2022 - All material is © COPYRIGHT Ian Simpson. Note that older material on this or external sites may contain out-of-date contact details for Ian - always use the Contact page on this site to be sure!