Carrs Lane Church History
There has been a worshipping community in Carrs Lane since 1748. From 1832, Carrs Lane belonged to the newly-formed Congregational Union, which became part of the United Reformed Church in 1972.
The Third Chapel stood from 1820 to 1970 (see interior view on right). Notable ministers in its history included:
- 19th C. John Angell James (founding father of the Congregational Union in 1832, and of the Evangelical Alliance in 1846)
- Dr R W Dale (an influential Victorian)
- 20th C. John Henry Jowett, Sidney Berry
- Leyton Richards (a renowned pacifist)
- Leslie Tizard
Various books by and about these ministers are kept in the vestry library.
The current building is the fourth to be built on the site, and was completed in 1970.
Before the present Church Centre was built, there was considerable debate as to whether a Reformed Church presence should be retained in the city centre, or the old church should be replaced by one in the suburbs.
The decision was taken to remain in Carrs Lane, not because of its historic name, but because the Church wanted to provide a Centre which could be of value to those coming into the city centre to work, to shop, or to meet.
The New Church Centre Building
was completed in 1970 - see view of Church Room and Cross on right. It was designed by Messrs Denys Hinton and Partners.
It received a Civic Trust Award in 1972. Built of engineering bricks to reflect the industrial city, the austere but dramatic exterior hides a welcoming and comfortable interior.