Christian Meeting House
4 Rodney Street, Wigan, Wigan
Part of Group:
At Risk: No
Christian Meeting House built in 1858 as recorded on the stone on the front of the building. Used by the Church of Christ, a nonconformist religion which had been founded in the area in 1841 by Timothy Coop (1817 to 1887) the garment manufacturer and joint proprietor of the garment factory on Dorning Street.
The movement sought to restore "Primitive" New Testament Christianity. The building design is likely to have been deliberately simple and lacking ornamentation to reflect the ethos of the movement.
Another prominent member of the congregation was William Thomas Miller OBE (1880 to 1963). He was a local miner's leader and became National Secretary of the Pit Deputies Association and a consultant to the government on mine safety.
Source – Past Forward issue 37 2004
It is said that Timothy Coop baptised a person in the canal near his home and also baptised people in the River Douglas which was near the meeting house.
Recollections from Denise Walsh
My Grandma, born in Ince 1910, belonged to the Church of Christ, my Mum used to go to the Friends Meeting House, Rodney St when she was young to different functions and they used to take me and my brothers there every Halloween for a party upstairs in a big room in the 60's/70's. It was always fancy dress with party food and then the lights would dim and they would tell us a scary story and there would be a big bang in places to shock us, being in the dark.
My Grandma lived in Mitchel Street, Newtown and there was a small Church of Christ chapel at the top of the street which was demolished a couple of years ago. They had a pool in the floor, covered by a wooden cover. They do not have infant baptisms, when an adult or someone old enough decides to commit, they would have a baptism, they fill the pool, the person wears a white robe, and they are wholly submerged, and the congregation have towels ready afterwards.