The rapid expansion of Liverpool in the late 18th and early 19th century saw the wealthier merchants and professionals move eastwards from the city centre, taking possession of the new housing being built around Rodney Street. Naturally, where there were people, there were churches and in a very small area (probably little more than a square kilometre) the different denominations built their places of worship: St Andrew’s on Rodney Street, the Church for the Blind and St Philip’s on Hardman Street, St Catharine (Abercromby Square) and St Mark’s on Duke Street to name but five. Of these, only St Andrew’s survives, although in a desperate state. Two other churches are featured here, both photographed in 1875:

Myrtle Street Baptist Church

The church stood on the corner of Hope Street and Myrtle Street, on a corner site which is now a car park (facing the Philharmonic pub). A Nonconformist church, it had as its preacher Hugh Stowell Brown, who was so popular that the church had to be expanded to seat his growing congregation (Howell Brown conducted the funeral of John Hulley – see earlier post re. Liverpool Olympics). The church itself was greatly admired although James Picton was a bit sniffy about its style of architecture: ‘not up to the demands of the age in ecclesiastical structures.’ Design by WH Gee and opened in 1844. It did not see its centenary and was demolished just before the Second World War. The stone clad building to the right has recently been demolished.

Catholic Apostolic Church, Catharine Street

Many people reading this blog will have seen the shell of this church, which was finally pulled down in the mid-1990s and replaced by a block of flats. It stood on the corner of Catharine Street and Canning Street and was a building that stood out from its brick built neighbours (what I presume was the prebytery still survives and looks somewhat out of place clad in rather unsympathic stone). Picton again was critical of the church’s external dimensions but the church had a fine interior by all accounts.

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