St George, Stalybridge
© Copyright Bill Boaden, licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The foundation stone was laid for the new church on the 1st September 1838, and it was consecrated on the 24 June 1840. The church was again called St George, as it was the intention that the new church would replace the old one.
The Reverend Isaac Newton France was the first incumbent and proved to be as unpopular here as at Old St. George’s. Numbers in the congregation fell as low as six or seven people on a very regular basis, even though it could hold as many as 1,500. While Rev France was attempting to regain control of the Old church, the Reverend John Leeson was appointed vicar of the New church. Numbers in the congregation increased, including soldiers from the nearby Ashton Barracks.
When Rev France died in 1850, John Leeson became vicar of Old St. George’s, and his brother Frederick Leeson was given the job at New St. George’s in the hope that would promote good relations in the community.
When Old St George closed in 1967, its congregation joined the “New” Church which is now the single Church in the parish and known simply as St George.Reference: 'Two into One will Go' by Paul Denby, ISBN 0 9515993 0 5, available via the church website at www.stg.org.uk