Building Name

Domestic Mission Chapel Rochdale Road Manchester

Rochdale Road
GMCA, England
Manchester Domestic Mission
New build
Robert Neill

 NEW CHAPEL IN CONNECTION WITH THE DOMESTIC MISSION. The chief stone of a new chapel and school room, to be used in connection with the Manchester Domestic Mission, was laid on Monday afternoon by Martin Schunk Esq. one of the principal contributors to the fund for its erection. The site of the new building is on the west side of Rochdale Road, on a piece of vacant ground, between Osborne Street and Zinc Street. The building will be two storeys high. The lower or basement storey, which will be partly below the level of Rochdale Road, will be occupied as a school-room, while the upper one will be devoted to the purposes of a chapel. The length of the school-room will be 55 feet 6 inches, its width 26 feet, and its height 12 feet. The length of the floor of the chapel will be diminished by there being at the east end, that next Rochdale Road, a vestry and library room, one on each side of the entrance door. In consequence of this, the length of the chapel on the floor will be only 41 feet, but over these rooms will be a gallery. The seats in the body of the chapel and the gallery will accommodate about 270 persons. In the centre of the west end of the chapel there will be a communion table, having the pulpit on the right hand side, and a space for an organ on the left. Externally, the chapel will present a very plain and simple appearance. It will be in the early pointed style and will be built of common brick, with stone dressings. At the east end there will be an entrance door, appropriate to the style of the building, and over this will be two lancet windows. There will be a trefoil opening in the gable, and this will be surmounted by a stone cross. At the west end of the chapel there will be a triplet of lancet windows, and the chapel will be further lighted by five smaller lancet windows on each side. The roof of the chapel will be of timber, unceiled. The school-room will be divided by a movable partition into two rooms, one for boys and the other for girls, and to each of these there will be a separate entrance. The cost of the whole building will be about ,1,500, and of this ,1,200 has already been raised by subscription. It is expected that the chapel will be ready for opening by August next. ... (details of ceremony, speeches etc) ... The key stone of the arch over the central doorway was then lowered into its place, and after it had been set, a brass plate bearing the following inscription, was placed upon it:

The stone in which this plate is imbedded was laid on 14th February 1853, by Martin Schunk Esq, the chief contributor to the building fund, in celebration of the laying of the foundation stone of this chapel, for the use of the Domestic Mission. Building Committee: Robert Nicholson, George Wadsworth, Robert D Darbishire; secretary Rev William Gaskell; minister of the Domestic Mission Rev John Layhe; architects Henry Bowman and John (sic) Crowther; contractor, Robert Neill.

(Further extensive reports of speech by William Gaskell and the tea party held on the Monday evening). The report indicates that Henry Bowman attended the ceremony

OPENING OF THE DOMESTIC MISSION CHAPEL, ROCHDALE ROAD The foundation stone of the new chapel was laid some months back; and it was opened for divine worship by three services on Sunday last. …  On Monday evening there was a tea party in the schoolroom beneath the chapel; about 200 ladies and gentlemen were present. The chair was occupied by Mr Eddowes Bowman MA and the other speakers were the Reverends F Bishop, William Gaskell, Dr Beard, John Wright, J Layhe, and others … The chapel (which has been built from the plans of Messrs Bowman and Crowther, architects of this city) is a neat structure of brick; the door is approached by a flight of steps, and opens into a vestibule, from which there are doors into the vestry, and to the gallery stairs; the entrance into the chapel from the vestibule is hung with crimson curtains; the open benches reaching from the aisles to the wall on either side; the raised place for the communion table is raised one step above the chapel, and the table is covered with a crimson cloth; the pulpit is in the corner of the chapel, by the side of the communion rails; the gallery which extends over the vestibule, contains an harmonium, and will usually be occupied by the choir and Sunday scholars. The roof of the chapel is open, and the stained oak rafters give a warmth to the upper part of the building, which would otherwise be wanting. The chapel is not large, but will accommodate from 250 to 300 persons. Services will be regularly conducted in the new chapel, which is situated in a densely populated and poor district, by the Rev John Layhe, the domestic missionary. [Manchester Guardian 22 October 1853 page 7]

Foundation    Chief stone laid 14 February 1853
Opened         October 1853

Reference    Manchester Guardian 16 February 1853 page 2 - chief stone
Reference    Manchester Guardian 22 October 1853 page 7 – opening