Friday, 22 July 2016

A Chorlton landmark ................ the new window of the Central Church

Now I like it when you can write about people you know who are contributing to the life of Chorlton.

The church, 2015
So here is Peter’s painting of the Central Church featuring the stained glass window created by Stephen Raw.

I have known Peter and Stephen for over thirty years and so it is nice to be able to feature both in the same story.

And for those who have been around the block a few times this will always be the Macfadyn Church.

Today only the hall remains.

The church was demolished in the 1970s.

It was one of the many churches built in the township as the population grew in the final decades of the 19th century and like those on High Lane and Wilbraham Road did not quite last a century before declining congregations  made amalgamations, rationalizations and eventual demolition the fate of many church groups in Chorlton.

The church, circa 1904
The Chorlton cum Hardy Congregational church started its life in the Masonic Hall in September 1879 under the joint control of the Chorlton Road and Stretford churches. In June 1881 Chorlton Road, under Rev. J. A. Macfadyen, M.A., D.D., assumed full responsibility. 

A school-chapel was opened for worship in September 1883 and forty seven members enrolled at the new church in December. 

Its first pastor, Rev. Robert Mitchell, was appointed in June 1885. With the death of Dr. Macfadyen, in 
1889, the church's connection with Chorlton Rd. came to an end, but in October 1890 a fund was started to build a new church in memory of Dr. Macfadyen, - the Macfadyen Memorial Church, whose opening service was on 25 October 1894.

The church, 2015
In October 1972 with the union of the Presbyterian and Congregational churches it became known as Macfadyen United Reformed Church. In October 1975 Macfadyen United Reformed Church and McLaren Baptist Church decided to worship and work together as Chorlton Central Church.”*

All of which puts our picture postcard at some time after 1894 and more exactly after 1903 by which time Holland Road had been cut and the houses built.

Peter’s painting was done this year and Andy Robertson’s of the work in progress dates from last year.

Painting; the Central Church, © 2015 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures,

Pictures; the Macfadyn Church, circa 1904 from the Lloyd Collection, and the church in 2015 from the collection of Andy Robertson.

*The National Archives,

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