History

A brief history of Eccles Congregational Church

A few members from Hope Chapel Salford came across an advertisement for the sale of a plot of land in Eccles. They put forward a plan to build a grand church and work began. The Cornerstone of the building was laid in front of a crowd of 2,000 on Good Friday 1859 and the church was opened for public worship on Good Friday 6th April 1860. In the press of the day, the church was described as “a Cathedral looking church”

The church played host to Sunday Schools, The Woman’s Fellowship, The Literary Society, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and a Youth Fellowship.

In 1965 Eccles Congregational Church welcomed friends from the King Street Mission after the sale of their buildings, but later that year they were all thrown into turmoil by the announcement that a new Eccles motorway would be built through the church land.

Work began to demolish the Church and replace it with a new smaller church, but the old church did not go down without a fight as workers could not pull down the steeple. After 11 days of battering and buffeting by 18lbs gelignite and two 8 ton bull dozers, the steeple finally surrendered.

On Friday 11th July 1969, the new church officially opened with a splendid ceremony. A minor hitch occurred when the organ blew a fuse during the second verse but the Congregation sang through it while organist Mr Kenyon frantically fumbled about and rectified the matter.

 * This brief history was taken from  ” The History of Eccles Congregational Church ” written by Ian H Wallace & T R Woolnoug.   If you would like to read a full copy it can be found in the church vestibule.