St Chrysostom’s School: The Early Days

St Chrysostom’s School is growing! Major work has taken place to extend and improve the school buildings and Year 4, 5 and 6 children have new classrooms. Mr Trevor Matthews, Headteacher, says; The time has come to move into our fantastic new building extension. This is an exciting time in the history of St Chrysostom’s…’ To mark this we are having three different entries on our church blog, about the school’s history. First of all on the origins of the school:

The former St Chrysostom's School

The former St Chrysostom’s School

St Chrysostom’s CE School was founded by St Chrysostom’s Church. It opened with 19 children on September 4th 1876 in a small building on Upper Brook Street (then called Clarence Road). By 1880 numbers had risen to 62 and the school moved to Clarendon Road (Carmoor road, now). Soon the number of children reached 129 and standards were very high – in 1882 of the 23 ‘Mixed’ schools (that is with boys and girls) St Chrysostom’s and one other school reached the highest levels of pupil achievement in Manchester.

The Curriculum include reading, writing and arithmetic (the 3 R’s) as well as religious education. The curriculum was broad though – girls learned sowing and knitting. By the age of seven girls had to ‘complete a garment such as a child’s plain shift.’ Painting, drama and ‘technical education’ were also included for all children. An inspector noted that there were ‘fresh flowers on each teacher’s desk.’

Children in the playground in the 1930s

Children in the playground in the 1930s

Some of the teachers stayed a few years, some stayed longer. Mr J T S King was headmaster from 1882 to 1922 – a remarkable 40 years.

Of course the area was different from now. Miss Chadwick, who taught at the school in the 1880s later recalled: It was vastly different in those days, a few streets and lots of fields, … There was a big farm where the Victoria Baths now stand. One pupil was afraid of the geese and always brought bread to throw to occupy their attention till she got past. Upper Brook Street was quite out in the country then. There were no shops nearer than Brunswick Street.’

Mrs Pankhurst, former St Chrysostoms School Governor

Mrs Pankhurst, former St Chrysostoms School Governor

A report on schools in 1905 noted that Manchester and its neighbourhood swarm with benevolent and wealthy people. But except in a few rare cases, they display no practical interest in the … schools

We are proud to say St Chrysostom’s School had one very notable exception to this.  Emmeline Pankhurst was once a governor of the school.

The great suffragette and figure of national importance in the field of women’s rights, lived near the school. She found time among her national and political engagements to serve on St Chrysostom’s School’s Board of Management (now called the Governing Body).

Extract from the 1906 list of School 'Managers' of St Chrysostom's School

Extract from the 1906 list of School ‘Managers’ of St Chrysostom’s School

Here is the proof! Looking through school archives recently Fr Ian came across the minutes book of the school managers, and this included a list of the managers of the school in 1906. By then Mrs Pankhurst had moved from Daisy Bank Road to Nelson Street.

How fitting to have such an outstanding and inspiring campaigner for inclusion and equality in our school’s history!


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, Christianity, Manchester and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to St Chrysostom’s School: The Early Days

  1. Susan Prescott says:

    I went to St Chrysostoms as a child in 1961 and it is wonderful to know about it’s background from this post. Thankyou.

  2. Joan Blakemore. says:

    I went to st. Chrysostoms in the early sixties miss. Moseley was head then Mrs. Hill took over. Happy days lovely to see it on this site. Joan maher

    • Sonia Beetham (Osborne) says:

      I attended St Chrysostoms from 1955-1962 Mrs Mosely was head and then Mrs Hill. Fond childhood memories.

  3. granville davies says:

    I was there from about 1947 until 1951. Granville Davies

  4. Jennifer Ashcroft says:

    Jennifer Ashcroft. I was there from 1960-1966, my older Brother Stephen Ashcroft and Sister Gail also attended the school. My cousin Janice Howard was also there. It would be great to hear from anyone who remembers our family.

  5. Julie says:

    Loved my years at this school
    Mrs Hill was head.

  6. Sue O'Brien (nee Doughton says:

    I attended St Chrysostoms school from nursery to age 11.
    My early years were in the old building on Carmoor Rd and our year were the first pupils to go into the new school when it first opened. Mrs Hill was the heasmistress.
    Mrs Thomas was my favourite teacher and showed great compassion for my social disadvantaged background. I think she emigrated to Australia.
    Mrs Thomas taught me that I was valuable as an individual and gave great practical support that greatly assisted me.
    I have had a very successful career as a social worker and she was always a person I referenced in mind during my working years. I would have loved the opportunity to say thank you to her.

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