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WIGAN PARISH CHURCH

The Woodcock Banner - This banner appears to have been made at a slightly later date, although one of the symbols is undoubtedly of an earlier time than the rest of the banner. The theme is six woodcocks with six red Tudor roses and a Red Lion - The woodcocks each holds a ribbon in their beak with the Gothic Latin letters Vigilate et Orare (Watch and Pray). The Red Lion is holding a gold cross showing that it represented Lord Nelson, who was killed in the Battle of Trafalgar. A lion carved in stone was placed on Nelson's tomb in St Paul's Cathedral, London and there is the pride of lions at the base of the Column in Trafalgar Square, London which Queen Victoria commissioned Laanseer (her favourite artist) to work - the inscription on this banner is 'we glorify thee'

(Henry Woodcock who lived at Bank House and his son, also Henry were churchwardens of Wigan Church for 37 years 1840-1877. They founded the Wigan Bank.)

A great cross on a purple ground. The design is of Celtic origin. We imagine this and the red one are probably of a later date possibly replacing two older ones when Canon Bridgeman first came to Wigan around 1864. We feel it may be the work of the Wantage Sisters, if so the design (which is very fine) may be the work of Mr Butterfield (architect of Keble College) who at that time was building the Sisters Convent. We have been unable to verify this, the Sisters say their records of the time are very incomplete.