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Great Sutton St John The Evangelist became a parish in 1879 formed along with Hooton, formed from the Ancient parish of Eastham in the Wirral peninsula.
Great Sutton and its northerly neighbour Little Sutton are both mentioned in the Doomsday Book, although Great Sutton at least has a recorded history pre-conquest, the manor being given by King Edgar to St Werburgh’s Minster in Chester (now the Cathedral). The manor subsequently passed to Robert Fitzhugh, son of the Earl of Chester; in turn it passed to the Abbot of St Werburgh’s Abbey in Chester, where it remained until the Abbeys Dissolution in 1540. From the reign of Elizabeth I onwards, it passed through several families, including the Cholmondleys.
Originally part of the much older parish of Eastham, a little further up the peninsula, the parish of Great Sutton was formed in the 1850s, along with its neighbouring parish of Hooton. This was at a time of increased church building up and down the country, mainly in towns and cities, but also in those smaller villages whose parish church was in another village. The curate (assistant priest) of St Mary’s Eastham at the time, the Revd Charles Mayall, ministered to the people of Great Sutton, holding services in outbuildings of Church Farm. In the mid 1870s, an appeal was launched to build a church for the village; two local worthies, Peter Owen and Thomas Shallcross, were prominent in the appeal. In 1879, the church was built on a site given by R C Naylor, and consecrated by the Right Reverend William Jacobson, Bishop of Chester, on 24 November; Messrs Owen and Shallcross were the first Churchwardens, and Charles Mayall became the first Vicar.
Throughout the twentieth century, the parish changed markedly and is no longer the quiet farming village of 1879. Situated roughly halfway between the Rivers Dee and Mersey, Great Sutton has grown as the town of Ellesmere Port grew with the development of the Manchester Ship Canal, the Shropshire Union Canal and the Stanlow Oil Refineries. The parish, which to the west abuts rural South Wirral, contains a mix of housing and looks both to Chester and to Ellesmere Port for employment, shopping and recreation.
Vicars of Great Sutton:
Charles Mayall 1879-1900 Percy Douglas 1900-1925 John Wilkinson 1925-1926 Eustace Auden 1926-1937 George Herbert Bradley 1938-1973 Cheeramattathu John Thomas 1975-1983 (Priest in Charge 1974-75) Thomas John Virtue 1983-1997 Colin Michael Potter 1998-2005 David Stephen Fisher 2006-
Eastham, St. Mary (C of E). The ancient parish church for Great Sutton.
Great Sutton, St. John the Evangelist (C of E). The parish church since 1880. Registers of Baptisms 1879–1977 and Marriages 1880–1989 have been deposited at the Cheshire Record Office. Registers of Burials start in 1908 and are held at the church. Parish registers for Great Sutton, 1879-1948
The parish is included in Cheshire, Church of England records are available online in Record Search,
Microfilm copy of original record in the Cheshire Record Office, Chester, England.Cheshire Record Office no.: P186/1-2, P186/615. Baptisms 1879-1940; Banns 1880-1947. FHL BRITISH Film 1656399 Items 4 - 5 Marriages, 1880-1948. FHL BRITISH Film 2147233 Item 9
Poor Law Unions
- Wirral (1837–1937)
- West Cheshire (1937–74)
- Chester and Ellesmere Port (1974–98)
- Cheshire West (1998+)