Assistant Clergy

In addition to the vicars there have been, throughout the centuries, many assistant clergy ministering in this large parish. It has already been seen that several curates were employed at the same time. It is recorded that five clergy in the parish signed, in 1641, the National Protestation- a promise to maintain the Protestant religion. The list included the vicar Richard Hardie, John Tyldsley (Tilsley), Thomas Johnson of Deane, Alexander Horrocks of Westhoughton, and James Walton of Horwich.

In 1592 it was recorded in the Visitation Book of the Bishop of Chester that the curate at Deane did not catechise and that the "annual perambulations" were neglected. The temptation at least to curtail this latter duty - the beating of the bounds - can be appreciated when the extent of the parish is considered. Nor did the churchwardens escape admonition for the neglect, and they were reminded also that the shilling fine must be levied on all who absented themselves from church on Sundays and other holy days. The curate upon whom this censure fell was James Pendlebury, officiating in the absence of the vicar.

Several of the large landowners retained their own chaplains, some poached from Deane.

After the Reformation people generally in the north-west of the country adhered to the old faith and its observances, but the folk of Deane and hereabouts - apart from some of the landowners - were strong advocates of the Protestant teaching. When the twenty-six men of Deane ruthlessly struck down the images and pulled down the altar in the Chapel of the Holy Trinity and St.Anne located within our church on the north side but no longer referred to, it was evidence of a fervent protestation by the people against the practices and faith of the Church. They committed this sacrilege at peril to themselves, for Henry VIII had not then had himself proclaimed "Supreme Head of the Church of England"; indeed throughout his reign he would not tolerate any alteration in church furniture or in the form of service. George Marsh at this time was a boy some seven years of age, and he grew up in this atmosphere of zeal for the reformed faith.

Since that time the spiritual tradition of Deane has been maintained by its clergy. The Rev. Charles Simeon, founder of the Simeon Trustees, was a leader of the Evangelical Party, and the clergy appointed by the Trust have been of a similar outlook.

Rev Henry Thicknesse

In addition to Rev. F.H.Thicknesse three Deane curates became Bishops - Montague Villiers, curate (1836) under Rev. E.Girdlestone, was a nephew of Lord Clarendon and married a daughter of William Hulton, Esq. He became Bishop of Carlisle. A.Townley Parker, also curate to Edward Girdlestone, became Suffragan Bishop of Burnley. W.K.Macrorie, after being curate at Deane (1858 - 1860) under F.H.Thicknesse, became Vicar of Wingates, and later Bishop of Maritzburg, South Africa.

In J.J.T. Hill's "History of Deane" (11Mb) there is a long list of Assistant Clergy since 1824. Since the booklet was written in 1914 there have been many more, testifying to the fact that Deane is a parish that trains their clergy well.

As mentioned elsewhere on the site, an outreach church was set up at Over Hulton. It was usual for one of the curates to look after the needs of the population there. The first 'residential' curate was David Williams and later Ian Roy Williams-Hunter (1976 - 1980)took on the needs. He was 'promoted' to Vicar at St Andrew's. Replaced by Stephen Brook (1980 - 1985), and subsequently by Anthony Robin Hazelhurst (1985 - 1996), the post has since been held by Paul Ellis (1996 - 2006)and John Gordon Armstrong (2007 - 2018).

Additionally there are two Ordained Lay Ministers, Julia Mary Davies based at St Andrew, Over Hulton ordained in 2004 and Elizabeth Bowers Plant in 2008.

In recent times there have been a steady flow of Curates

2011OngoingStephen William BAZELY
20062009Daniel James HOWARD
19931997Charles David MOORE
19891993Michael Walter SAUNDERS
19841987John CORBYN
19811984Anthony John WOODWARD
19781981Frank SUDWORTH
19751977Mark Raymond RUSSELL-SMITH
19721975David WILLIAMS
19721974R JOHNSON
19691972Neil W RIDER
19661968Brian Harold PARTINGTON
19611965P A C PEARCEY
19561960Dennis W GATENBY
19511954John Harrington GORE
19421946B O ALLEN
19381942E A GOWING
c1929c1932C BLOMELEY
c1929c1930W T HARROP
c1925Sidney COOKE
c1824Francis WHALLEY