Christ Church, Hunter Street, Christian Street
1799 – 1920
General Registers of Christ Church from the period show that the building was consecrated by the Right Reverend William Lord, Bishop of Chester on the 10th November 1799. The first stone of the ’Temple’ church, as it was then known, had been laid several years earlier on Monday the 27th February 1797. In the interim it appears that the congregation met elsewhere as a curious feature of the church records is that the first baptism recorded in the registers dates from March 11th 1797.
Built at a cost of £15,000, the edifice was erected on a site on the south side of Hunter Street at the expense of John Houghton (d. 1809) a distiller of the Bull Inn, Trueman Street, who 'intended it for a new Church or Chapel...with Vaults under the floor thereof...[with] the Residue of the said Piece of Ground & Vaults... set apart & consecrated as and for a cemetery of Burial Place to the same Church...'
The first Minister was John Vause A. M., a Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge the right of presentation of the first three ministers of the church being vested in John Houghton, passing thereafter to the Corporation of Liverpool. The right to let and sell pews was also vested in Houghton and his heirs. He endowed the benefice with the sum of £105 per annum, to be derived from the rents of 24 pews, appropriated in perpetuity for the support of the incumbent. Other pew rents were set aside for the salaries of the organist, a clerk and a sexton.
The ‘Picture of Liverpool or Stranger’s Guide’ (Google Books) provides description of the church architecture in 1834: “This edifice consists of brick, ornamented with stone, and the top of the Northern end is adorned with a dome, which commands a most extensive view of the town and neighbourhood. The interior of this church is well fitted up with pews and on three sides there are two tiers of galleries, the upper one containing four hundred free sittings assigned to the use of the poor. The galleries are supported in front by slender cast iron columns, and are entered by four stone staircases. At the south end there is a gallery, in which is placed an organ of a peculiar construction, having the appearance of two organs. This instrument was built by Collins of this town. The part below the body of the church is vaulted, and constitutes its principal cemetery, the yard being very circumscribed.”
In 1904 the Liverpool and Wigan Churches Act was passed. Under the terms of this Act, Christ Church , which had hitherto be regarded as an ecclesiastical district in the Parish of Liverpool became a separate parish 'for ecclesiastical purposes' (see sections 2 and 21). The Act also laid down, however, that 'from and after the next avoidance for the benefice of Christ Church' it should cease to be a separate ecclesiastical parish and should be merged with the parish of St. Stephen, Byrom Street. This amalgamation eventually took place in 1920 and Christ Church was closed (see Marriage register, 1918 - 1919, page 4, 283 CHR 3/7).
|Repository:||Liverpool Record Office|
|Ref No||283 CHR|
|Accession No||2197, 2405|
|Baptisms||1799 - 1812, 1813 - 1919|
|Marriages||1800 - 1919|
|Burials||1813 - 1875|
|Banns||1865 – 1906|
Inscriptions from tombstones etc. in Christ Church are transcribed by J. Gibson in 'Epitaphs in Christ Church' in 'Epitaphs & inscriptions on tombstones & monuments in Liverpool Churches....' volume 2, pages 107 - 221, Liverpool Record Office Local Studies Collection reference H929.5 GIB.
An index to the marriage register, 1837 - 1847 (283 CHR 3/4) is available, Reference Hq 929.3 OLD.