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St Matthias Mission, Chorlton-on-Medlock
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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St Matthias Mission Church was one of several church and school buildings built by the Birley family of cotton/linen spinners and India rubber manufacturers. Part of the All Saints parish, it first opened as ‘St Matthias School Church’ on 2nd December 1866 in Saville St, off Oxford Street. The building consisted of a church and school combined with the church on an upper level and a schoolroom and playground below it. It was designed by architect J. Medland Taylor of Manchester, with stained glass by Heaton, Butler and Bayne of London. By about 1870 the church was being referred to as St Matthias Mission Church and continued at Saville St. until at least 1913. The closing date of the church is uncertain, but it is not marked on Saville St. in maps from 1922.

Photo of Herbert Birley kindly donated by Dave Birley at
Photo of Herbert Birley
kindly donated by Dave Birley at

Herbert Birley (1821-1890) was the brother of Manchester MP Hugh Birley. In August 1891, a memorial tablet to Herbert Birley was placed in St Matthias Mission church which described him as:

“... the principal founder and supporter of this church and school. He was a kind-hearted and bountiful benefactor of the poor. A devoted and thorough educationist; for many years chairman of the Manchester and Salford School Boards, as well as an energetic and liberal promoter of church schools.”

The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 04 December 1866 and 26 August 1891

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