Cross Street Chapel

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The modern Cross Street Chapel CrossStChapel Manchester frontDoor.jpg
The modern Cross Street Chapel

Cross Street Chapel is a Unitarian church in central Manchester, England. It is a member of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, the umbrella organisation for British Unitarians. [1] Its present minister is Cody Coyne.

Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement named for its belief that the God in Christianity is one person, as opposed to the Trinity which in many other branches of Christianity defines God as three persons in one being: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Unitarian Christians, therefore, believe that Jesus was inspired by God in his moral teachings, and he is a savior, but he was not a deity or God incarnate. Unitarianism does not constitute one single Christian denomination, but rather refers to a collection of both extant and extinct Christian groups, whether historically related to each other or not, which share a common theological concept of the oneness nature of God.

Church (building) building constructed for Christian worship

A church building or church house, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly for Christian worship services. The term is often used by Christians to refer to the physical buildings where they worship, but it is sometimes used to refer to buildings of other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.



Cross Street Chapel c.1835 Cross Street Chapel Manchester (1835).jpg
Cross Street Chapel c.1835

The Act of Uniformity 1662 imposed state control on religion by regulating the style of worship in the Church of England. However, many clergy rejected the restrictions, and of the 2000 ministers who were ejected from the established church, Henry Newcome established his own congregation that same year. The "Dissenters' Meeting House" was opened in 1694 and holds a special place in the growth of nonconformism within the city.

Act of Uniformity 1662 United Kingdom law of religion and the Church of England

The Act of Uniformity 1662 is an Act of the Parliament of England. It prescribed the form of public prayers, administration of sacraments, and other rites of the Established Church of England, according to the rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. Adherence to this was required in order to hold any office in government or the church, although the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer prescribed by the Act was so new that most people had never even seen a copy. It also explicitly required episcopal ordination for all ministers, i.e. deacons, priests and bishops, which had to be reintroduced since the Puritans had abolished many features of the Church during the Civil War.

Church of England Anglican state church of England

The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.

Great Ejection

The Great Ejection followed the Act of Uniformity 1662 in England. Several thousand Puritan ministers were forced out of their positions by Church of England clergy, following the changes after the restoration to power of Charles II. It was a consequence of the Savoy Conference of 1661.

In 2012, the chapel became the first place of worship to be granted a civil partnership licence when the law changed in England. [2] During the construction of Manchester Metrolink's second city crossing in the City Zone, 270 bodies from what used to be the chapel's graveyard had to be exhumed and reburied. The work took place from 2014–17. [3]

Manchester Metrolink light rail and tram system in Greater Manchester, England

Metrolink is a tram/light rail system in Greater Manchester, England. The system is owned by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and operated and maintained under contract by a Keolis/Amey consortium. In 2017/18, 41.2 million passenger journeys were made on the system.

The Chapel

The building was renamed the Cross Street Chapel and became a Unitarian meeting-house c.1761. [4] It was wrecked by a Jacobite mob in 1715, rebuilt and destroyed during a World War II air raid in December 1940. A new building was constructed in 1959 and the present structure dates from 1997. The Gaskell Room of the new building houses a collection of memorabilia of novelist Elizabeth Gaskell.

Jacobitism political ideology

Jacobitism was the name of the political movement in Great Britain and Ireland that aimed to restore the House of Stuart to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The movement was named after Jacobus, the Latin form of James.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Airstrike Attack on a specific objective by military aircraft during an offensive mission

An airstrike or air strike is an offensive operation carried out by attack aircraft. Air strikes are commonly delivered from aircraft such as fighters, bombers, ground attack aircraft, and attack helicopters. The official definition includes all sorts of targets, including enemy air targets, but in popular usage the term is usually narrowed to a tactical (small-scale) attack on a ground or naval objective. Weapons used in an airstrike can range from aircraft cannon and machine gun bullets, air-launched missiles and cruise missiles, to various types of bombs, glide bombs and even directed-energy weapons such as lasers. It is also commonly referred to as an air raid.

Notable ministry and congregation

Urban historian Harold L. Platt notes that in the Victorian period "The importance of membership in this Unitarian congregation cannot be overstated: as the fountainhead of Manchester Liberalism it exerted tremendous influence on the city and the nation for a generation." [5]

Cross Street Chapel interior CrossStChapel Manchester interior.jpg
Cross Street Chapel interior

Sir Thomas Baker was a Unitarian minister and Mayor of Manchester, England.

William Fairbairn Scottish civil engineer, structural engineer and shipbuilder

Sir William Fairbairn, 1st Baronet of Ardwick was a Scottish civil engineer, structural engineer and shipbuilder. In 1854 he succeeded George Stephenson and Robert Stephenson to become the third president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Elizabeth Gaskell novelist

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist, biographer, and short story writer. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of Victorian society, including the very poor, and are of interest to social historians as well as lovers of literature. Her first novel, Mary Barton, was published in 1848. Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Brontë, published in 1857, was the first biography of Brontë. In this biography, she only wrote of the moral, sophisticated things in Brontë’s life, the rest she left out, deciding that certain, more salacious aspects were better kept hidden. Among Gaskell's best known novels are Cranford (1851–53), North and South (1854–55), and Wives and Daughters (1865), each having been adapted for television by the BBC.

List of ministers

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  1. Find a Congregation: Manchester Cross Street, The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (Great Britain), retrieved 23 January 2011
  2. "Manchester Cross Street Chapel gains civil partnership licence". BBC News. 9 March 2012.
  3. Cox, Charlotte (21 January 2017). "The last of the 270 bodies found beneath Metrolink's city crossing have been once again laid to rest". Manchester Evening News.
  4. Shercliff WH Manchester: A Short History of its Development, Municipal Information Bureau, Town Hall, Manchester (1960)
  5. 1 2 Platt, Harold L. (2005). Shock Cities: The Environmental Transformation and Reform of Manchester and Chicago. University of Chicago Press. p. 64. ISBN   9780226670768.
  6. Hotz, Mary Elizabeth (Summer 2000). ""Taught by death what life should be": Elizabeth Gaskell's representation of death in "North and South"". Studies in the Novel. 32 (2): 165–184. JSTOR   29533389.(subscription required)

Further reading

Coordinates: 53°28′54″N2°14′40″W / 53.4817°N 2.2444°W / 53.4817; -2.2444