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  • Christian Meeting House
  • Christian Meeting House
  • Christian Meeting House
  • Christian Meeting House
Grade U

Christian Meeting House

4 Rodney Street, Wigan, Wigan

Listed Date: 00/00/0000
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 Life of Timothy Coop


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.


Public Notice

THE CHURCH of CHRIST hitherto assembling in School-street, Scholes, beg respectfully to inform their hearers and the public generally, that on and after the LORD'S Day, the 24th of OCTOBER they will assemble in

When they will gladly welcome as many as the new premises will accommodate.

Lord's Day Morning - Christian Worship at Half-past Ten o'clock.
Lord's Day Evening - Preaching the Gospel at Six. 
School for tb® Youth of both Sexes:-  Morning at Nine o’clock ; Afternoon at Half-past One.
Bible Conference on Tuesday Evening at Half-past Seven - Prayer Meeting on Thursday Evenings, at Half-past Seven.
All the Sittings are FREE, and as the entire expenditure of the Church is met by the Membership, no collections are made from the Public.

Source: Wigan Observer

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.


The History of the Christian Meeting House - Rodney Street, Wigan 

The Christian Meeting House – Rodney Street was built in 1858, as recorded on the stone on the front of the building, as seen above and was built by Mr Fairclough of King Street. It was initially used by the Church of Christ which was established in America by Alexander Campbell a Scottish emigrant. The Wigan congregation was started independently 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 laying of the foundation stone of the New Christian Meeting House was reported in the Wigan Observer and District Advertiser on 2 July 1858 as being laid by Mr John Corf of Millgate “without any preface or ceremony. A bottle having been deposited with it, containing a paper scroll with a script as noted in the linked article. Other publications included were The British Millennial Harbinger, The Christian Advocate, The Sunbeam and copies of the Wigan Observer and Examiner”.

The building hit the headlines in 1860 following the explosion of a locomotive boiler on the nearby Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway line. A large portion of the boiler was blown through the air, over the dispensary, Public Hall to the Christian Meeting House. Where it dropped through the roof into an upper room of the building. The damage was considerable but thankfully no one was injured. (Shields Gazette 12 July 1860).

During the 1990’s Occasions restaurant was based there, as can be seen in the GOAD map below of 1995.More recently, in January 1992 the Manchester Evening News reported that Beverley Yates had bought the building and used her design skills to transform it to “All Things American” including genuine Stetsons, saddles and blank firing guns, a 25-foot jet aircraft wing and £10.000 Harley Davidson.

We have been unable to find the date of closure, we do know the building closed for worship in 1989 and in 1997 permission was given for change of use of first floor from retail to a restaurant. Prior to 2021 it was a gin bar, The Bar@WN1 4 Rodney Street which is now closed.

The building currently stands empty and is believed to still have some of the original features.

References and thanks to:

Nicholas Webb, Archivist.

Jim Meehan, WLHHS.

Archives Wigan and Leigh.


Past Forward 1995

Jan Bannister Thomas on behalf of WLHHS – King Street HAZ project.

February 2024.


Laying the Foundation Stone _ Extract from the Wigan Observer in 1858 - Link