often pointed out that St Matthew’s Church was built on
the proceeds of beer, in fact as a memorial to Pickering
Phipps, the local brewer who had twice been Mayor of
Northampton and twice an MP. To recall the Phipps
family’s endowment, Jeremy Phipps, the current chairman
of the reinvigorated brewery, kindly consented to carry
the silver processional cross at the head of this year’s
procession. Among the family’s many gifts to the parish,
the silver cross and matching acolytes where given on St
Matthew’s Day 1891. Later, on the same date in 1893,
Pickering Phipps’ son (of the same name) carried it into
church on the day of consecration. (The cross is one of
a pair; its larger bejewelled brother is in Westminster
Abbey.) It must have been a great moment in the life of
the local church and community. With hindsight, we might
also say that the founding of St Matthew’s was an event
which has proved to be of significance to the wider
Here follows an excerpt from a contemporary account of
the opening ceremonies:
After two years of arduous labour, at length
arrived the long looked for return of September
21st (St Matthew’s Day), 1893. In the early
morning, the last of the busy workmen departed,
and the whole building was ready for the
important ceremony of the day. At 7.30 a.m.
there was a celebration of Holy Communion in the
Temporary Iron Church. At eleven a.m. came the
Consecration of the new Church, followed by the
Institution and Induction of the Rev. J. R.
Hussey as Vicar.
The Bishop, attended by his Chaplain, together
with the Clergy, which came from all parts of
the Diocese, robed at the Temporary Iron Church,
and, with the choir, proceeded to the West Front
of the new Church in the following Order,
singing the hymn “Forward be our Watchword,” Mr.
Pickering Phipps carrying the processional cross
which was his gift on the day of the foundation
stone laying …
That occasion would have been full of hope for the
future, as indeed was this historically resonant and
moving moment in this year’s anniversary celebrations.
We give thanks to God for the foresight and generosity
of our benefactors, and for the faithful of the
intervening and continuing generations who have nurtured
and sustained God’s Church into the future.
A Remembrance to Remember
Wednesday 7 November 2018
We certainly did not forget the fallen of Kingsley as St
Matthew's celebrated the 100th anniversary of the
On Wednesday 7November, the church hosted a special
evening entitled ‘We Will Remember Them’ to honour the
126 young men from our parish who gave their lives in
the Great War.
Researcher Martin Stone who, with genealogist wife
Lindsey, has spent the last year looking into the
stories of all the heroes, talked about his work to a
large crowd, while Fr Nicholas spoke about the role St
Matthew's played during the war, holding multiple daily
masses, each attended by 1,000 people.
Veteran broadcaster Paul Vaughan recited verse and poems
from the war and read an incredible first-hand account
of Christmas 1915 in the rain-sodden trenches.
Composer and pianist Piers Connor Kennedy accompanied
countertenor Hugh Cutting for a series of beautiful
songs based around WW1.
The church looked magnificent with its wonderful poppy
cascade, handmade by members of the congregation and
local schoolchildren, plus the beautifully-lit
Haunting perspex silhouettes of soldiers were
strategically placed on seats to represent fallen
Many who attended said they found the evening
spiritually uplifting and very moving.
Martin's research has caused quite a media frenzy. Both
he and Fr Nicholas were interviewed about the Kingsley
fallen live on Radio Northampton on Tuesday 6 November.
The next day a BBC Look East TV crew came to film them.
The programme was aired that night. There was also
extensive coverage in the local Chronicle and Echo.
It meant that on Remembrance Sunday, after Martin and
Lindsey had placed their research files on the
Remembrance Chapel altar, Fr Nicholas was able – for the
first time – to read out the full names and ages of the
WW1 fallen on our Roll of Honour.
It was an immensely moving tribute, followed by The Last
Post – perfectly timed to end as the church bells struck
11am. Then came the two minute silence, and Reveille.
With a rousing God Save The Queen to finish, I'd like to
think we did those Kingsley lads proud.
For important information about Advent &
Christmas this year, please
Saturday Services during the winter months
For important information about Monday to
Saturday Services throughout winter, please
Events celebrating the 125th birthday year
of St Matthew’s.
When you shop online the
easyfundraising way with any of their
3,250 registered shops and websites, they
receive a commission for your purchases.
easyfundraising then turn that
commission into a donation for St Matthew's
Thursdays in term time from
10:00am to 11:45am. For more information
The Choir of
St Matthew’s Choir CD: O How Glorious
Information about the Choir’s 2015 CD (still
available) can be found
St Matthew’s Choir CD: My Lord has come
Information about the Choir's 2013 CD (still
available) can be found
St Matthew's Guide Book
Information about the new Guide Book can be
25 September 2018
Celebrating St Matthew’s 125 – Local brewer
leads the way