The first meeting of the Chorlton-cum-Hardy Unitarian Church congregation took place on 17 October 1890. At first there was no church building and no minister. The congregation met for worship in the Masonic Lodge on High Lane (now converted into houses). The foundation stones of the original church were laid in 1900 and the building opened for public worship on 9 February 1901, with a service led by Rev. Copeland Bowie, Minister at Southwark, and Secretary of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association.
The description of the original church building in ‘The Unitarian Heritage: An Architectural Survey’ by Graham and Judy Hague, 1986, reads:
“Chorlton-cum-Hardy Unitarian Church, Wilbraham Road, 1900. Congregation founded 1890 as a missionary effort by the Manchester District Association of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. Picturesque, half-timbered; gabled facade with bay window over full-width porch. Steeply pitched roof with small spire. Set in wooded grounds, approached through Art Nouveau gates. Interior plain, design inconsistent with exterior. Organ dated 1856.”
Sadly, our original church building succumbed to dry rot and had to be demolished in 1987. Our current church building was created from the old Sunday school building and rededicated in 1988. Our windows, with their distinctive lotus design, were saved from the original church building. Today our building is home to many different community groups as well as our Unitarian congregation.