Church of England Diocese of Manchester St. George, Mossley

History

St George is the patron saint of England, celebrated each year on 23rd April: George was probably a soldier living in Palestine at the beginning of the fourth century. He was martyred at Lydda (in modern day Israel) in about the year 304. There were churches in England dedicated to St George before the Norman conquest and he replaced Edward the Confessor as Patron Saint of England following the Crusades. Edward III made St George patron of the Order of the Garter, which seems finally to have confirmed his position.

In 1755 a proposal was made for a new Chapel of Ease in Mossley and it was decided to build the church on a plot of land known as The Higher Croft at Mossley. Joseph Pickford of Alt Hill gave the land and the Earl of Stamford gave the timber needed for building and fitting the church. The church was erected at a cost of £600 by James Mills of Hartshead and Matthew Slater of Dukinfield. The only contract to a Mossley man was to Edward Hardy for the pulpit (the only remaining part of that first pulpit is a small carved wooden cross now behind the high altar of the present church). It was consecrated on 13 June 1757 by the Bishop of Chester and the first baptism was on 8th August 1756, the first burial on 4th September 1761 and the first marriage 100 years later on 21st February 1859.

The foundation stone for the present church was laid on 24th May 1879 by Alderman George Mellor. The completed church was consecrated on 23 November 1882 by Bishop Fraser of Manchester. The fittings and stained glass of the church are of tremendously high quality, indicating great generosity on behalf of those who built the church.

St George’s is a much-loved parish church and familiar part of the skyline, with a seating capacity of around 450. The church has hosted generations of baptisms, weddings and funerals: the Peterloo hero John Knight is buried in the churchyard, and more recently the funeral service of Cpl Joseph Etchells, former student at Mossley Hollins High School, killed in Afghanistan.