A brief history of St Chad's Parish Church Poulton-le-Fylde Lancashire.
The first mention of a church in Poulton is in a document of 1094 but there could well have been a church here in Anglo Saxon times. The church is dedicated to St Chad, an Anglo Saxon bishop who died in 627 AD which could indicate a much older church.
The building style is that of a typical Georgian 'preaching box', a style introduced through major building work carried out in the 1750s. However the evidence suggests that St Chad's was simply renovated by being given a fashionable exterior skin and new interior furnishings. The work was done so effectively that within a century local antiquarians believed that the old church had been completely demolished and a new one built on its site. But recent evidence suggests that the Victorians were wrong, the present building hiding evidence of much earlier construction.
Chad (d 672) – the recycled bishop
Chad should be the patron saint of any modern bishop whose consecration is questioned by another bishop. Chad was consecrated a bishop, then deposed - and then re-consecrated!
It all began when Oswiu, king of Northumbria, made him bishop of the Northumbrian see. But due to a scarcity of appropriate bishops, two dubious bishops did the job of consecrating him. This led to Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, deciding to depose him about three years later. Chad took his dismissal with good heart, and peacefully retired.
But then Theodore had second thoughts: Chad was of excellent character: humble, devout, and zealous. So Theodore re-consecrated him – to be the first bishop of the Mercians. Second time around, Chad was a great success - again.
When Chad died he was quickly venerated as a saint. People took a great fancy to his bones, believing that they would bring healing. Even today, four large bones, dating from the 7th century, and believed to be Chad’s, are in the R.C. cathedral in Birmingham.
Bishops today may still argue about consecration, but they are unlikely to have their bones disturbed.