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Golf Coast recalls rumpus

THE RETURN of the Open golf championship to Merseyside in July has revived memories of a golfing controversy that flared up 80 years ago over Sunday golfing and stained-glass windows.


"Well, that slice certainly rendered any lingering controversy over the golf windows redundant" NOEL FORD

The Church of St Nicholas stands next to Wallasey Golf Club, one of the plethora of courses on what is promoted as Britain's "Golf Coast". Two "golfing windows" were installed here in the 1920s. They depict Christ on the sabbath at the synagogue and healing the sick. A small panel shows two golfers, suggesting that Christians could also combine Sunday duties with leisure. The inscription reads: "These windows are placed here by a golfer in February 1926 in grateful appreciation of a Golfer's Service held in this Chapel on Sunday Mornings, the Alms supporting a cot in the Wallasey Cottage Hospital."

Portraying golfers alongside Christ was said to have "shocked the religious consciousness of Wallasey". The Vicar of that time, the Revd A. S. Roscamp, defended the windows and the golfers' service: "When I saw Sunday by Sunday an increasing number of men and boys passing my church door on the way to the links, I felt an urge, and I believe it came from God, to save these men's Sunday from becoming entirely secularised. . .
"I . . . invited them to come to the church for a short service, and they came and have been coming for two years."

The present Vicar of St Nicholas's, the Revd Jeffery Staples, said: "People who come to the Open are most welcome at our church."

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