William Worrall Mayo was baptized in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Eccles Parish, in the village of Salford, England, on October 24, 1819, nearly five months after his birth.
There is conjecture that this indicates he was a healthy, robust infant, because sickly children were baptized as soon as possible after birth. Indeed, W. W. was vigorous and active throughout his life—which lasted until shortly before his 92nd birthday.
The church he and his family attended in England has historical associations dating back several centuries.
The Church of St. Mary the Virgin is an index of English history. The site was likely a sacred place during pre-Christian times, as some ancient stone carvings in the church attest.
A beautiful wooden ceiling dates to the era of the War of the Roses (1455–85), when the houses of Lancaster and York fought for the throne. Originally a Catholic church, it was converted to Anglican use during the reign of King Henry VIII (1491–1527). Today, the church continues to serve the people of the area, meeting diverse needs in a changing time.
In W. W. Mayo's boyhood, the church was a focal point of social and community activities as well as religious services. W. W. did not continue active church membership as an adult after he moved to the United States, but his social philosophy "to do the best I can to my fellow man and as little harm as possible" may be traced to the values of the church he attended as a youth.