click to return to 
Liverpool Home & Contents

Toxteth Independent Chapel, Toxteth
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

click to return to Lancashire Home

Toxteth Independent Chapel

During the eighteenth century the non-conformist parishioners of the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth adopted Unitarian tenets and for many years the area lacked a Congregationalist church espousing evangelical doctrines.

However, following a 'tent mission' which began in 1823, a Congregational church was formed in 1827.1 The foundation stone of a new chapel (also known as South Hill Road Independent Chapel) was laid by Mr. Thomas Blackburn on June 1st 1830 with the new building opening for worship on Tuesday, March 22nd 1831. Services on the day were reported to be “exceedingly interesting and well attended” with sermons by notable preachers the Reverends T. Raffles and John Thorp of Chester. Collections from the morning and evening services amounted to the “very liberal sum of 77 shillings”.1, 2

The new chapel dimensions were 51 feet by 39 feet allowing seating for between 400 and 500 persons. “Most neatly and elegantly built, it is sufficiently high to admit galleries should they be required and has two spacious schoolrooms underneath”.2

The first Pastor was a Scot, the Reverend John Johnstone Carruthers, who joined the Toxteth congregation in 1833 from Gosport, Hampshire. Carruthers, who was formerly a missionary to the Crimea, ministered at Toxteth until 1839 when he emigrated to Canada. Ultimately settling in the United States in Portland, Maine, his biography and portrait can be found on the Maine Historical Society website.3 He was succeeded at Toxteth in August 1840 by the Reverend W. P. Appleford, a student from Homerton College, Cambridge.2

In 1872, the original Toxteth chapel was replaced by a new building at the corner of Aigburth and Ullet Roads. The old chapel in South Hill Road was converted into a suite of schoolrooms the architect of which was the then Pastor, the Reverend James Wishart.2

References and Links

1. 'Townships: Toxteth Park', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3 (1907), pp. 40-45

2. Lancashire nonconformity, or, Sketches, historical & descriptive, of the Congregational and old Presbyterian churches in the county. Nightingale, Benjamin, 1893. John Heywood, Deansgate And Riugefield, Manchester. Contributed by: The Library Of Victoria University Toronto

3. Maine Historical Society

Liverpool Home & Contents ©Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks

Lancashire Home