Church History

Content copied from chgurch records - still to be edited and refreshed



The Church Building of Christ Church on Lostock Road was consecrated on Saturday October 4th 1969 to serve the Parish of East Davyhulme in the Diocese of Manchester and is a relatively new Church in the locality, but its history and origins can be traced back over 800years.

Davyhulme, Urmston and Flixton have not always been the suburban area we know to-day. In the mid 18th Century before the Industrial Revolution they were remote rural communities whose way of life had changed little for hundreds of years, Davyhulme itself was a small hamlet of farms and remote cottages.

The Parish Church serving the area was St. Michael’s Church at Flixton which dates back to the 12th Century and is built on the site of an even earlier Priory. So 800years ago the inhabitants would have had to have walked great distances across footpaths and fields, carrying lanterns after dark, to go to Church.
(St Michael's church taken from 'The Leech Family Diaries 19th Century Manchester History )

Then as the Industrial Revolution began to gain momentum across the Country so the local rural community began to change with it, slowly at first. Then in 1830 the first Passenger Railway, between Manchester and Liverpool was built which although it only skirted the local area coincided with an increase in population and better transport generally. As Flixton and Urmston began to expand, the need for another Church beside St. Michael’s led to  the building in 1867 of   St. Clement’s Church on Manor Road in Urmston. By 1873 the Cheshire Lines had built a Railway from Manchester to Warrington through the area with Stations at Urmston and Flixton. This opened up the possibility of commuting and the better transportation of goods in and out of the Area, the population continued to expand so that by 1889 the Foundation Stone of yet another Parish Church St. Mary the Virgin was laid to serve the new Parish of Davyhulme

The three Parishes were relatively free from industry and still very much rural in their nature Davyhulme being the most rural with many farms and cottages. However, in 1894 the Manchester Ship Canal opened which was the start of the process which brought about the changes which made the Davyhulme we know to-day.

The route of the Ship Canal was planned through the estate of Sir Humphrey de Trafford, whose family had owned land in and around Davyhulme since 1219 and after whom the local authority area of Trafford is named. He lived in Trafford Hall on the Trafford estate which is roughly the area we know as the Trafford Park Industrial Estate to-day. However he died before the completion of the canal and his son Sir Humphrey Francis de Trafford, in 1889, sold part of his land to Manchester Corporation to build the Davyhulme Sewerage Works which served the ever expanding population of the industrialised City.

            Sir Humphrey Francis de Trafford started  selling off the rest of the estate in 1900 for Industrial Development so one of the largest concentrations of industry and engineering in the world started to grow right next door to the three Parishes of Urmston , Flixton and Davyhulme. (See promotional pamphlet for Trafford Pak in 1905)

Skilled workers came from all over to work in ”The Park” as the industrial area became known and for some it seemed sensible to move nearer their work so the local population expanded with Urmston and Flixton growing rapidly and Davyhulme following close behind particularly between the two world wars. Until 1930 Davyhulme remained the more rural area, abounding in country walks through fields and meadows; but during the 1930’s an expansion in building took place. Particularly on the Davyhulme estate three long straight roads roughly parallel, Lostock Road, Canturbury Road and Winchester Road with a network of roads connecting them. The Second World War halted building for about a decade and the estate was completed in the 1950’s.

This expansion increased the potential number of Parishioners at St Mary’s the Parish Church of Davyhulme albeit at some distance from the Church building itself, which probably explains why  the original plans for the development contained planning permission for a Church.. In 1943 the Vicar of St. Mary’s opened a Sunday School in Canturbury Road School which was a great success having a membership of 2000 by 1954.

Subsequently it was decided to open a “Mission Church “ of St Mary’s to serve the community around the new development in the East of the Parish.This was a temporary brick and timber construction on Whalley Avenue alongside where the M60 Motorway now runs. This temporary building was in use for 15years.

By 1959 it was obvious that the area needed to be a Parish in its own right and the Conventional District of Christ Church, Davyhulme was formed.

In 1963 the first meeting of the New Church committee took place, by mid 1964 the merits of concrete versus brick and various plans and models were being considered and in 1965 the new site on Lostock Road was given planning permission.

Around this time, the late 1960s the land of Moss Farm between Kingsway Park and the Motorway was developed as a new housing estate increasing the size of the Parish further

The Foundation Stone was laid by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 25th May 1967.

After all the excitement of planning and the laying of the foundation stone instead of building work commencing there was a setback it became apparent after accurate costings that the Architects plans were too costly by £15000 to £10000. Early 1998 saw the appointment of a new Architect with a less ambitious scheme and the contractors commenced work in September of that year and by May 1969 the walls and roof were up.

September 28th 1969 saw the last Service at the old Mission Church which was subsequently sold in 1970 and financed the building of the Parish Centre.

On Saturday October 4th 1969 the new Parish Church of Christ Church, Davyhulme was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Manchester.