These photographs were taken on one of the Heritage Open Days in September.
Flowery Field Church is a Free Christian (nondenominational) Fellowship whose origins date back to an itinerant Methodist Preacher, Hugh Bourne, who visited the Flowery Field area on horseback in the 1820s. He inspired the villagers to hold religious Services and classes in their cottages. Their employer, the cotton mill owner, Thomas Ashton (the elder), was impressed with their efforts and in 1830 built "a school for all denominations" at Spring Gardens, to provide educational facilities for his workpeople and their children. In 1870 a deputation from the church called upon Thomas Ashton (the younger) to solicit his help and advice. He asked that they raise the sum of £1000 and then report back to him. Within just a few years the task was accomplished.
Work commenced on the building of the Church in 1876. Thomas Worthington FRIBA of Manchester was commissioned to be the Architect. The building is in the Perpendicular or Tudor Gothic style of architecture and is cruciform in shape. There is a separate though connected Tower which rises 81 feet above street level. Work was finished towards the end of 1878 and the Opening Ceremony was held on Thursday 19th December 1878.
On each side of the doorway are grotesques bearing the face of a man and a woman. I recall being told something about their particular significance but I've forgotten what it was.
The nave is 72ft long and 32ft wide, with transepts 20ft by 12ft 6ins. There are also two galleries over the transepts reached by staircases inside the two rear turrets. The large plain side glass windows are made of individual small pieces of glass about 3" by 2" each individually hand made. The light fittings were installed in the 1920s.
The font in the baptistry at Flowery Field is dedicated as a war memorial.
The babtistry dedication reads:
TO THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD
THIS BAPTISTRY IS DEDICATED
AS A MEMORIAL
OF THOSE OF OUR FELLOWSHIP
WHO FELL IN THE WAR 1914-1918.
AND AS A THANKSGIVING
FOR THOSE WHO RETURNED
On display above was this modern reproduction of the original Sunday School banner which was paraded through the streets on the annual Whitsuntide Walks.
Although completely independent the church is affiliated to the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, a member of the East Cheshire Union of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and the Unitarian Christian Association.
For more information visit the Church website.
I'll post more photographs including some of the stained glass windows at a later date.
A contribution to Inspired Sundays.