St Helen and the Roman Empire

I said I would post some images of the interior to St Helen’s church, Tarporley.  I am not one for religion, but I do recognise the importance of the churches in our history and the great length of continuity the church provides.

lych gate
Lych Gate, St Helen, Tarporley, Cheshire.

The inscription on the Lych Gate reads:  Let thy loving Spirit lead me forth into the land of righteousness, which seems to be from Psalm 143, though “me” is replaced by “them”.

But, as I don’t recall any mention in Sunday School, who was St Helen and why a dedication in Cheshire?

Some more external shots, before venturing inside.

The church appears in very good repair and the churchyard is kept neat and tidy.

Inside was dimly lit, so the windows appear particularly bright.

The stained glass is mainly from the late nineteenth century.

st francis of assisi
St Francis of Assisi


And two Warrior Saints windows:

lady saints
Lady Saints: Cecilia, Helen, Catherine, Monica.

St Helen was the mother of Constantine the Great, Emperor of Rome 332-337.  Constantine’s father, Constantius, aka Augustus, became Emperor of the Western Empire and Constantine joined him to campaign in Britain.  In 306 Constantine was at York (Eboracum), where he was proclaimed Emperor.  After a number of campaigns he reunited the Empire under one rule in 332.  Helen, was Constantius’ consort and would have accompanied him to England.

St Helen is considered important in the history of the Christian Church for her influence over Constantine, who was the first emperor to convert to Christianity.  In later life she went on a pilgrimage to Palestine, where it is alleged she found the True Cross.

There is a detailed guide to St Helen’s Church online , and more information about Helen’s life on Wikipedia.

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