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New Jerusalem Church, Little Bolton
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A Drawing of the New Jerusalem Church, Higher Bridge St, from the Bolton Journal of 23 Oct 1886
A Drawing of the New Jerusalem Church, Higher Bridge St
from the Bolton Journal of 23 Oct 1886

From The Bolton Journal and Guardian, Friday, January 15 1937, reproduced here by the kind permission of the Bolton News.

The building in which members of Bolton New Church - formerly known as New Jerusalem Church - meet for worship is not on of the towm's imposing buildings. Of plain brick, it presents a frontage to Bridge St that is now too much hemmed in by other buildings to be seen to any advantage.

It is, however, a building with an interesting history. Swedenborgianism in Bolton goes back at least 155 years, for the members of this society worshipped in a smal building in Bury St as early as 1781.

Samuel Crompton, inventor of the spinning mule, was a regular worshipper at the Bury St Church during the ministry of Mr. Samuel Dawson, who died in 1823.

This Mr. Dawson was a popular, though irregular, surgeon and herbalist and was noted locally for a poultice which he used to make and sell.

Samuel Crompton apparently became a member of the New Jerusalem Church about the year 1800 and in 1803, it is on record that, being in more comfortable circumstances, he was able to lend £100, a fourth of the sum necessary to build a new place of worship for the Swedenborgians in Bury St. He appears to have taken great interest in the erection of the building, which was of two storeys, the upper one used by the congregation, the lower one being occupied by Mr. Dawson, the leader of the congregation.

About this time, Crompton, assisted by his eldest sone, George, built a chamber organ in the he then occupied in King St. Some years later this instrument passed into the possession of Mr. William Tickle, of BOlton, who either sold it to, or more probably purchsed it for the Bury St church, where it was in use until 1846, when the removal took place to the present church in Bridge St. It was then sold to Mr. Walmesley, whose address was given as Spaw Lane, now known as Spa Rd. Crompton's organ was equipped with principal stop, diapason, fifteenth and dulciana, its tone being described as sweet but not very pwoerful.

Crompton had complete control of the music at the Bury St Church and the small chior practised at his home in King St on Sunday evenings, at first with the organ, and after its removal with a piano.

He retained this connexion witht he chior until 1823 when it seased as a result of some personal misunderstanding between himself and the officiating minister.

In 1843, plans for removal to a new and more commodius premises were discussed and the corner stone of the present church was laid on May 8th 1844, by the Rev. David Howarth, of Salford, assisted by the Rev. Elias De Le Roche Rendell of Preston and Dr. Bayley or Accrington.

From the inscriptions on the stoenwork, it appears that Mr. Howarth was minister at Bolton as well as at Salford. Mr. Richard Edleston was leader of the BOlton church, the trustees being Messrs. S. Walmesley, J. Tickle, J. Roscoe, R. Fryer, T. Hadson, J. Pickering and W. Horrocks. Mr. James Greenhalgh was the architect.

From 1843 Mr. Edleston was for a time pastor. Until 1863 there was no regular minister and services were often conducted by Dr. Wilcox Haddock, who was well known in the town for his literary and scientific attainments.

The Rev. William Westall became minister is 1863, the Rev. Joseph Dean 1868, the Rev. G. H. Smith 1874, who was followed by the Rev. Thomas Mackereth, F.R.A.S. The latter was one of the gentlemen who presented meteorological instruments to Bolton Corporation which led to the formation of the Queen's Park Observatory 50 years ago.

Mr Mackereth himself took meteorological reading regularly at a station of the outskirts of Bolton.

A Recent Image of the New Jerusalem Church, Higher Bridge St, now a carpet warehouse
A Recent Image of the New Jerusalem Church, Higher Bridge St
now a carpet warehouse
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