Lee Chapel, Horwich - Independent
monumental inscriptions have been recorded and published by the Bolton branch of the Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society.
At one time the Rivington Chapel members who could not agree to the Unitarian ways gathered at a dingle or quarry at the base of Rivington Pike, the founding words as quoted by Hampson were spoken at the outdoor meeting, on a cold and wet day " Brethren, something must be done", from those words the cottage was obtained, that cottage was to become Lee Chapel. Here commenced the very first Sunday school.
In 1760 four pious men left with a large flock of the congregation of from Rivington to swell the nubers at Horwich,
The four men were:
By 1774 says Hampson the four men had founded a new building for Lee Chapel. The Rev. Leonard Redmayne, who's grave is to be smahed in 2007, was one of the first ministers to serve the Lee Chapel. He begam his ministry in 1777, he ended his ministry in 1822 and died age 82 in 1829. During these years within the names you will find the Pilkingtons of Rivington at Lee Chapel. By June 1787 a well organised sunday School with over 100 children attending was launched, this provided education to all families. Lee Chapel had become the not just a Chapel but the center of community life.
After the Rev. Leonard Redmayne the Rev Robert Harris took up the ministry, he died whilst a serving minister May 19 1840, a total of 18 years as minister. The Rev John Jones took over the Ministry in 1841, he resigned 1842. He was replaced with Rev A. Bateson in 1843 and he remained at the Chapel five years.
The pastorate was vacant until 1854 when Rev Mark Hardaker took up the Ministry. The Rev. Hardaker had raised the funds and support in 1854 for a new building as we see today. The official openning was June 11th 1856. Rev Hardaker resigned in 1867. The pastorate again being vacnat until 1869 when Rev R. Nicholls became Minister for one year followed for six months by Rev. D Williams then also of Bolton and Adlington. The Rev. Watkins took up the Ministry until 1878. At the time of writing Hampson says (1882) the Minister was Rev. W. J Houlgate.
Noted schoolmaster :
- From 1814 for 6 years - James Rothwell
- From 1820 for 19 years - John Hood.
The building was designed by George Woodhouse. Mr. W. Pickersgill as builder and Joseph Clarkson, joiner, contributed labour to the building work. Other works being conducted by Mr. Sharples of Chorley.
The building committee were
John Turner of Rivington - Chair
James Clarkson - Treasurer
J. Waterhouse - Davanport as secretary
Other members were
Rev. M. Hardaker
W & J Clarkson
Jesse Hood of Adlington
Some interesting names appear as the first preachers for the openning
Rev Thomas Raffles
Rev Enoch Mellor of Halifax
Rev Robert Vaughan - President of Lancashire Independant College
Rev William Roaf of Wigan
The Independent churches were ones in which each congregation was autonomous, upholding the principles of independence. In the 19th century they became known as Congregational.
In 1972 the Congregational church joined with the English Presbyterian church to become the United Reformed Church.
Original registersManchester Archives and Local Studies, Manchester Central Library, hold:
- Baptisms 1765-1836
The Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society have published filmed copies of the registers covering:
- Bap 1838-1879 and 1882-1894
- Mar 1870-78 and 1885-1894
- Bur 1841-1880 and 1882-1894
- this church marked on a Google map. (Use this to report a corrected location)
- Google Streetview (Drag pegman to centre of map to show picture)
- Open StreetMap
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Vision of Britain
- English Jurisdictions in 1851
- Google maps showing nearby churches with satellite image option.
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