History of the Windows
On August 26th, 1860, at the hamlet of Westby Mills, a small country church was formally opened by
the Rt. Rev. Alexander Goss, Bishop of Liverpool, and dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of Our Lady.
The church was designed to face north-south rather than the customary east-west. A special feature at
St. Anne's is the manificent stained glass windows. It's many windowswere unusal in that they were
large and circular, each with eight cusps or octafoils. The hamlet waslater submerged beneath the
present reservoir but now the Grade II listed church has survived as a hidden treasure.
The three earliest windows were installed in 1860 and 1867 at the apse end of the church. The 'Agnus
Dei' is above the altar, whilst windows depicting St. Anne and St. Joachim are on either side. These
windows were manufactured by John Hardman & Co. of Birmingham who still trade under the name of
Pugin, Hardman & Powell.
Around the church walls, set well above head height, are eleven large circular windows. Two of these windows feature The Eucharist and eight depict various saints. One of these saints is our own local martyr, Blessed William Harcourt. These ten windows date between 1897 to 1933. The 'St. George' and St. Gerard Majella' windows are designed by FranzXavier Zentler of Munich. St. Gerard is the Patron Saint of Mothers and of Motherhood, he was born at Muro Italy in 1725 and died at Caposele Italy in 1755, Beatified in 1755 and Canonised in 1904.
St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians is depicted seated at the organ. One commentator has identified this as one of the two stained glass windows within the church which stand out for their artistic and compositional merit, the other being the Millenium Window.
The Millenium window was designed & fabricated by local Craftsman Chris Naylor. In a contemporary style, it depicts the life blood of the Fylde from ancient to modern times. Mrs Paddy Parker, who has written a booklet, 'The Millenium Window', gives the following information. "Our Millenium window has been created and dedicated as a celebration of thanksgiving for the birth of Christ and for the faith and fortitude of our forefathers. It is also a tangible symbol of our faith as a legacy for future generations. The surrounding octafoils are a tribute to the faith and fortitude of all those who have lived and worked in the Fylde throughout the ages. They have shaped the Fylde that we have inherited".rsM MrMrs Mr