Hoole Congregational and United Reform Church

From Hoole History and Heritage Society

At the end of the 19th Century, after years of pressure, the Duke of Westminster changed the management of the Westminster Schools and eventually, through All Saints Church, it became a National School bringing up children according to Church of England doctrine.

Tin Chapel, Walker Street

The non-secular body which had run the School for over 30 years and had over 200 children attending its Sunday schools acquired the Tin Chapel, which was erected in Walker Street. The leading figure, Mr. F.J. Duck had announced in 1893 that a building had been found (a Church of England Mission Hall from Edge Hill, Liverpool) and land on which to build it was being sought; this was acquired from Mr. J.P. Court of Liverpool who was developing John Lightfoot’s estates from Lightfoot Street to School Street.

Agreement for the new Church being signed (1)
Agreement for the new Church being signed (2)

At first it was an ‘Unsectarian Mission’ but in 1908 it was decided to approach Queen Street Congregational Church with which it would become associated for the next 40 years. After the Second World War, the Secretary of the Tin Chapel, Arthur Ward-Jones, a wholesaler with premises in City Road (his delivery vans were a regular sight in the City, Merseyside and North Wales) and the Rev. Eric Lawson, Minister of Queen Street Church (and also Deputy Mayor of Chester), foresaw the expansion of Hoole and Newton and persuaded the congregation of the Tin Chapel that they needed to move into bigger premises. Photographs show the agreement to do this being signed.

United Reform Church Notice of Dedication Service 1953
United Reform Church, Hoole Road[1]

In 1953 (the Queen’s Coronation year), a service of dedication was held on the site on Hoole Road which, while still in Hoole, gave easy access to the rapidly developing post war estates in Newton. The Congregational Church became the United Reform Church and the building we know today on Hoole Road was opened in 1958. Meeting rooms were gradually added to the building.

Tin Chapel after closure

After closure in 1958, the Tin Chapel was used by Seddon’s Salt as a storeroom and then by Braid’s whose shop in Charles Street used it for the sale of secondhand furniture.

Pickering Mews

When the Chapel was finally demolished, the site became Pickering Mews.