Five lost churches

St Chrysostoms White High Mass vestments, formerly used at St Benedict's

St Chrysostoms White High Mass vestments, formerly used at St Benedict’s, Ardwick

Fr Ian writes:

This afternoon I attended a book launch at Manchester Cathedral. The book, None Will Remain: Five lost churches of Manchester, by Richard McEwan, records the history of five closed Anglo Catholic Churches, St Alban, Cheetwood, St Gabriel’s, Hulme,  St John’s, Miles Platting, Our Lady and St Thomas, Gorton, and St Benedict, Ardwick.

The launch included a fascinating exhibition of Anglo Catholic memorabilia, including St Chrysostom’s white High Mass vestments, which originally came from St Benedict’s, Ardwick, and the candlesticks from Our Lady’s statue, the work of the Anglo Catholic furnishers, the Society of St Peter and St Paul.

Talks given at the launch by Mr McEwan and by Canon David Wyatt were both well informed and stimulating. The stories of all these churches is fascinating and the book is well worth reading. In very deprived areas priests and people worked hard, prayed hard, worshipped hard and together they created something beautiful for God. Their churches were places of holiness and prayer – sacred places for their communities. IMG_0505 (1) (1)

Sadly, their particular witness is no more. In a challenging conclusion to his work Mr McEwan, remarks ‘This study .. is in the end, a story of decline, lack of fulfilment and defeat.’ Inevtiably, then, deep and significant questions arise: Why did these churches close? What action do their stories of pastoral care, worship and witness inspire today? How can existing churches more become ‘gates of heaven?’ How can the truths of living out an incarnational faith in the world, and celebrating  a liturgy which embraces beauty, symbol and mystery, be ‘proclaimed afresh’ to our generation?

About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
This entry was posted in Anglican, Anglo Catholic, Art, Catholic, Christianity, Faith, Manchester, Prayer, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Five lost churches

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I have a book of the history of St. Gabriels Church Hulme 1869-1929 full of really useful information and has lovely illustrations. Please can you let me know who would be interested in this book. The book if by Wlilliam R. Canneli.

    • sethdenizen says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I am doing some research on St. Gabriels Church in Hulme and I have yet to find even a photo of the church. I would be very interested in knowing more about this book! Please contact me.

      • Richard Mcewan says:

        I wrote a book in 2014 called “Five Lost Manchester Churches”. There is a very detailed and illustrated chapter on St Gabriel’s Hulme. There are several copies in the Central Library St Peter’s Square Manchester. Kind regards, Richard McEwan

      • Seth Denizen says:

        Thanks for your reply Richard. St. Gabriels Church in Hulm is at the center of legal case from 1869 that has become an important precedent, particularly in the United States. Researching this case is what has lead me here. I found William R. Cannell’s “History of S. Gabriel’s Church, Hulme, 1869-1929” in the British Library, but I havn’t been able to find your book, “None Will Remain: Five lost churches of Manchester.” As I am based out of Boston, I can’t make the trip to Manchester. Would you be willing to send me a copy? Happy to purchase one.

    • Kim McMahon-Thompson says:

      Elizabeth, I am very interested to know if your book says anything about the world war one memorial which was situated in St Gabriel’s? As the church is now demolished the memorial has been lost and a photo or list of names on the memorial would be of great interest, not just to me, but very many people and archives across the country. PLEASE let us know if you still have the book.

      • Seth Denizen says:

        Elizabeth, I may be able to help. Contact me through my email, which is my name at berkeley dot edu.

  2. Bryan Davies .All my family attended this church says:

    i would like it was born in hulme and attended St gabriels from being a small served on the alter ,and sunday school

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