St. Alban's church.

The need for Church Extension in the Parish of Ordsall was the commencement of St. Alban's Church. A Public Meeting was held in the Town Hall, on June 20th, 1899, at the wish of the first Bishop of Southwell, Dr. Ridding, to consider the question of a new Church for South Retford. At this date a small Mission Room was the only provision for that part of the parish. The outcome of this meeting was the purchase of a site on the Holly Mount Estate, on which the present St. Alban's Parish Hall was built. The building was used for services until a permanent Church could be erected.

The Memorial Foundation Stone of St. Alban's Church was laid on July 23rd, 1902, by the Right Hon. F. J. S. Foljambe, Lord High Steward of the Borough and the dedication of the chancel, side chapel and organ chambers took place on 22nd June, 1903, the ceremony being performed by the Bishop Suffragan of Derby, Dr. Weare. The lofty chancel arch was then blocked up for ten years.

An extension of the Church was made on September 18th, 1912, when the Foundation Stone for three new bays, of the nave, was laid by W. H. Mason, Esq.

The consecration of the Church, so far erected, was performed by the Bishop of Southwell, Dr. Hoskyns, on Whit-Sunday, May 11th, 1913. A temporary west front was again erected.

The Nave was completed by the addition of two new Arches in each aisle, and the West Front. The Dedication was performed by Dr. Mosley, Bishop of Southwell on April 22nd, 1931. Space is provided for vestries at the East End but these are not yet built.

The Church is built externally of Weldon Stone from quarries in Northamptonshire. Internally Bath Stone is used and the floor is of Yorkshire Stone. It was designed by the late Mr. C. Hodgson Fowler of Durham, and the contractors were Messrs. Bowman and Sons of Stamford,

The Church is lofty and light, 100 feet long and nearly 50 feet high, built in the late Perpendicular style. The Side-chapel is intended to be divided from the Choir and Nave of the Church, with Carved Oak Screens. Also in the complete design there would be a Carved Oak Case for the Organ front, above the present gallery which was given by Miss Garland. All the woodwork so far placed in the Church is of beautiful workmanship and merits some description. The Choir and Clergy Stalls were given by Mrs. Holmes.

The lofty Reredos is a very striking object, and is of exceedingly handsome design. This and the Altar were given by Mrs. Stott in memory of her husband who was Rector of Ordsall from 1896-1907.

Their dedication took place on June 27th, 1908. They were designed by the late Mr. Hodgson Fowler, and the wood, which is Austrian Oak was carved in the works of Messrs. Bowman of Stamford. The figures are of Soft American Pine, carved by Messrs. Bridgeman of Lichfield, while the painting was executed by Mr. Stanley Watkins of Ealing.

In the centre is the Crucifixion, with the Watchers by the Cross, St. Mary and St. John. The four large figures are St. Alban with a sword, St. Lawrence with a gridiron, St. Paulinus and St. Swithun.

The first two were martyrs, and the other two were Bishops in Saxon Days—Paulinus at York, the founder of Christianity in this county, and Swithun at Winchester. The twelve smaller figures represent the Apostles and are placed as follows:—

In the top row are St. Thomas with a Builder's Rule; St. James the Greater with a Pilgrim's Staff; St. John with a Chalice; St. James the Less with a Club.

In the middle row are St. Simon holding a Saw; St. Peter holding Keys; St. Paul with a Sword; St. Jude with a Halberd.

In the lowest row are St. Philip with a Staff; St. Bartholomew holding a Knife; St. Andrew with a Cross; St. Matthew with a Purse.

The East Window of the Church is filled with stained glass and contains the following inscription :

"To the glory of God and in memory of Samuel Jones, sometime Town Clerk of East Retford, born XVIth August, MDCCCXXXI; died XXIXth March, MCMII."

The window was dedicated at the morning service on November 5th, 1905. It consists of five lights in the Perpendicular Style. In the centre is the figure of our Lord Crowned, and holding the Orb of Royal Dominion. Below stands St. Michael, the Archangel vanquishing the "Great Dragon" of Revelation. On the left we see the Virgin Mary, and on the right the Angel Gabriel bearing Madonna  Lilies. Below the figure of the Virgin is St. Peter holding his keys, and opposite to him is St. Stephen holding a palm-branch as a symbol of victory.

On the left again, in the upper part of the window, is the figure of St. George, while at his feet lies the dragon which he has slain. Below this military saint, by way of contrast, is St. Cecilia the patron saint of organists and music. She sits playing on an organ, and is always represented in this way, and singing praises with her voice.

On the extreme right is St. Hugh of Lincoln, one of the greatest Bishops and famous as the great re-builder of the Norman Cathedral at Lincoln, where he lies buried. He holds in his hand a model of the Cathedral, and is attended by his faithful swan as in the well-known story about him. Below is. another Cathedral builder, St. Ethelreda, the foundress of the old Saxon Church at Stow, Lincolnshire, and Abbess of Ely. As a queen she is crowned and holds a model of Ely Cathedral, as the foundress of the first Nunnery there, and a pastoral  staff indicates her office.

The following is a list of gifts to St. Alban's Church:—

Altar Reredos—Mrs. Stott; Altar Rails—Dr. and Mrs. Pearson; Choir Stalls—Mrs. Holmes; Pulpit— Mr. and Mrs. Percival Jones; Lectern—Miss Roberts; Chandeliers—Miss Garland; Stone Screen—Mrs. Appleby; Font—Sunday School; Lectern Bible—Mrs. Oxley; Processional Cross— Mrs. Foster; Oak Alms Dish—Mr. W. N. Marshall; Chancel Chair—Mrs. Teasdale; Litany Desk—Mrs. Platnauer.

Church Plate.

The Chalice and Paten belonging to this Church are of silver and were given in 1903 by Misses Marie and Annie Roberts in memory of their uncles, Mr. William and Mr. Robert Baker.

The Alms Dish was given by Mrs. George Peck in 1903. There is also a Silver Baptismal Shell with the following inscription:—"To the Glory of God and in memory of Frank Stockdale (Chorister of this Church) who was drowned by the sinking of the Troopship "Royal Edward" in the Aegean Sea, August 13th, 1915. Grant him, O Lord, eternal rest."