Built in 1817, Lune Street's Chapel was one of the first public buildings in the country to be lit by gas and cost £6,000 to build. How this much money was collected is unknown, although this being a weaving area, it is possible some more comparatively prosperous weavers gave generously.
In 1851 the evidence suggests that Lune Street Chapel had started to attract a sizable number of newly wealthy adherents. It was apparently known then as the Cathedral of North West Methodism!
Preston, having more than doubled its population in the first few years of the 19th century, was ill prepared to manage the emerging conditions in the cotton mills. Innovations and changes in the trade and the over production of cotton led to the closure of mills leaving many without jobs or on part-time work. This was the period known as the Lancashire Cotton Famine and lasted up to around 1865.
1861 brought a a new glass roof to the Chapel and a considerable portion rebuilt. It reopened for Worship on Oct 25th that year having been cleaned and re-ornamented and had much more comfortable seats in the gallery!
The Church was once again refurbished during the development of St Georges Shopping Centre (now The Mall). New signage was installed as can be seen from the photograph.
In more modern times the interior was once again updated in the early 1990's. The hall downstairs was converted firstly into an 8 bed, then 40 bed night shelter, this following from the Churches determined and committed involvement in caring for the homeless and poor, and out of its 4 times a week Soup Kitchen.
The entrance area was enlarged, allowing a new "Olive Grove Coffee Shop" to be opened along with a new kitchen, a creche and toilets.
In 2006, the most significant change to the front of the building for a few years was made. After many discussions, much planning and a few months of building, the new improved access to the church was completed. A sloping access and two sets of stairs together with a return to the lantern style gateway of years ago have enabled easier and smarter access to the building. Refurbished signage finished off a more welcoming frontage!
The 1959, and 1968 images used, along with information from the period to 1861 are taken from the booklet "Avowed Intent" by Anthony Fothergill ©1992 Pilgrims Bell.
The 1985 "At The Centre" Mission Report
The 1967 “150th Anniversary Brochure”