Oldham Road Congregational
Oldham Road Congregational Church,
Miles Platting (ca 1961)
(with the kind permission of Manchester Archives)
Oldham Road Congreational Church, Miles Platting opened in January 1846 as a Sunday school for both children and adults. James Bedell undertook the management of it and conducted a public service each Sunday evening. Attendance at the school rapidly increased and the large room used for the evening service was very soon crowded. Mr Bedell devoted himself entirely to the nurturing and establishment of the Church and Oldham Road Chapel was consequently built and opened in October 1850.
The congregation continued to increase and by March 1851 a Church was formed consisting of 70-80 members who were unanimous in their agreement to invite James Bedell to be their pastor. On March 25th 1851, James Bedell was ordained.
Rev James Bedell, the first minister is quoted as follows in respect of the origin of the Church: “In Mr Abraham Ward’s office in Deansgate, he and three of us from the college met for consultation and earnest prayer concerning the beginning of a school and preaching room in Oldham Road. Then on a dark winter’s morning, January 8th, 1846, three students, Messrs. Day, Clapham and myself walked from the college to Poland Street and in the upper room quietly, unostentatiously began a Sunday school.”
(Lancashire Non Conformity by Rev B Nightingale – 1890)
The Rev James Bedell continued his ministry until September 1876 when he resigned. He subsequently became the Pastor of Lymm Congregational Church in Cheshire. His successor, was the Rev William Hubbard who ministered at Oldham Road until 1885. He moved to a Church in Ipswich. The Rev William Henry Towers took over the ministry of the Church on September 12th 1886 and at that time it had seating for 1000 persons.
Oldham Road Congrational Church was demolished in the 1960’s. It did not have its own burial ground and a number of the members of this Church were buried in Manchester General Cemetery. Most of the burials, although not all, were officiated by the Church's own ministers.
Transcriptions from the Church Registers (birth, marriage, death and church roll) by visiting the website of the Lancashire Online Parish Clerks. This is a volunteer project which aims to preserve data for family and local historians and to make it freely accessible online.