Cross Street Chapel has a significant place in the story of Manchester. It’s members played a significant role in the political and social life of Manchester, and helped found both the present day University of Manchester and Harris Manchester College, Oxford. Past members included the mayor Abel Heywood (who build Manchester Town Hall), the father of medical ethics Dr Thomas Percival, and the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell.

Please find below links to three essays written by our late member Geoffrey Head:

A Brief History of Cross Street Chapel
Cross Street Chapel in the Time of the Gaskells
Cross Street Chapel Before the Welfare State


If you are a researcher, you may be able to access and view our archival material.

Cross Street Chapel’s holds some of its archival material onsite. This includes Committee meetings from 1840s onward, Pew Seat Rents dating back to the 1700s, and financial records for some affiliated societies. A full listing of the chapel’s own archives is currently underway, and will be posted online once completed.

To request access to material held on Cross Street Chapel, please contact our chapel’s archivist, the Rev’d Dr Ann Peart at [email protected]

Some of Cross Street’s records are stored at John Rylands, Manchester’s Central Library (Archives+), and elsewhere.

Finally, Cross Street holds some collections from other groups; we are not able to grant permission to view these records, but will assist if the necessary permissions have been granted:

Cross Street Chapel Trustees
Manchester District Association of Unitarians and Free Christians