A brief history of St John's Church Pendlebury

St John's Church Pendlebury stands on Bolton Road and is a landmark in Irlams O' Th' Height. In around 1841, a group of local men raised funds to build a new Church. The Church cost £2000 to build and was called St John the Evangelist. It was opened for Divine Service in February 1842 and was consecrated on 11th October 1842. It was built in a very simple Anglo-Norman style.

Originally, the building had no chancel; the North Porch was the Vestry. There was also no Baptistry, a font stood against the East wall. Readers and preachers climbed a three decker pulpit where our Organ currently is. The organ was on the balcony and the Choir sat on the front pews. The original pews were box-pews and the best ones were rented out.

In 1843, the Parsonage was built where the Hall currently stands. 16 years later, alterations begun in the Church itself. A large arc was cut in the East wall and the chancel was built. In 1861, gaslight was installed in Church and in 1863, an organ chamber was built and the organ was brought down from the balcony. 

After World War One, a memorial plaque was erected in Church in memory of those from the Parish who had fallen during the War. During the 1920's and 30's, electric lighting and heating was installed in Church. 

Years later, World War Two broke out and Christmas of 1940 brought the Manchester Blitz. Several homes in the Parish were demolished and the occupants were killed or injured. The Church roof and doors were damaged and nearly all of the stained glass windows were destroyed. At the end of World War Two, a further memorial plaque was installed in Church below the existing memorial plaque. 

In 1965, a Garden of Remembrance was built on the South side of the Church. And by 1969, a new vicarage had been built and a new Parish Hall was built on the site of the old vicarage. 

In 1986, dry rot was discovered in the Church which required the building to be gutted. All Church Services were conducted in the Parish Hall for six years while the building was restored. In this time, extensive alterations had been made to the building. The wooden pews had to be burned due to the fungus infecting the wood work. The pews were replaced with cushioned chairs.  The lounge area was made under the balcony, featuring two toilets and a kitchen. The old Victorian font could not be moved, and so a new immersion pool was fitted into the floor and protected with glass screens. 

Six years and £120,000 later, the Church renovation was complete. The Church services returned to the newly restored building on Palm Sunday 1992 with a special service of Thanksgiving. 


Enquiries regarding historical records

Given that St John's Church is now over 175 years old, there have been a multitude of baptisms, weddings, funerals and burials over the years. If you are looking for information regarding your family history, the Church holds the following records:

Graveyard information is held from 10 January 1992

Wedding records are held from 04 April 1981

Baptism records are held from 1979

Confirmation records are held from 1953

If your enquiry regarding historical information falls within the above dates, please send us an email  or call into Church on a Sunday morning and we will endeavour to help where possible. 

If you are searching for information prior to the above dates, you will have to contact the Manchester Diocesan Archives. The registers are sent to the archivist once they are full and the Church is not able to provide any information.