St Matthew’s Church

St Matthew’s Church, which dates from 1883, was built to seat around 500 people.

It serves a large inner-city population from the east of Preston city centre out to the M6 motorway.

The congregation is small, but is growing in number. On average there are about 30 adults at the main service. There is a a wide spread of ages and it includes people of Asian and African and Afro-Caribbean nationalities.

Our aim is to tell the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of East Preston.

We regularly run Christian basics courses for those wanting to understand the Christian faith more.

Times of Services

Sundays at 11.00 am
The main act of worship is usually Holy Communion with a Bible-based sermon.
We have started to introduce more contemporary music, lay partipication with a more informal style of worship
in order to minister to the needs of those who are new to the Christian faith or who are just looking.
The service lasts just over an hour and is followed by refreshments. You will be give a warm welcome.

Wednesdays at 9.45 am
Holy Communion – A short 40 minute service with a sermon.

Church Address

New Hall Lane, Preston, PR1 5XB

Church Office Address

St Matthew’s Vicarage, 20 Fishwick View, Preston, PR1 4YA

How To Find Us

There are two entrances to the church, both on New Hall Lane.
For most occasions the entrance next to school is the one used.
There is no car park but cars can be parked along Derby Square or other side streets near the church.

To zoom in or out use the control arrows in the top left corner of the map.
To change the view from map to the satellite image or the terrain,
click on the buttons at the top right of the map.

A Short Historical Background
1838 St Mary’s Church opened in ‘New Preston’
“The general characteristics of its inhabitants were an immense capacity for bad language, a power of imbibing alcholics, and a supreme contempt for all.that was decent and reputable” – Canon Smith, incumbent at St Mary.
1861 The Rev G. Alker, Vicar of St Mary, prevailed upon Mr Rogerson, the late Sexton of the cemetery, who was erecting two cottages,
Nos. 82 and 83 in New Hall Lane to leave out the inner partition walls: opened as a branch school of St Mary’s in late 1861.
1862 207 scholars of the eastern branch school walk in the Church of England procession at the Guild.
1873 18 September, The Derby Memorial Schools were opened, on land valued then at close upon £1,000, given by the Earl of Derby. The School was licensed for worship, and there was sufficient land for the erection of a church.
1877 Attendance at the Derby Branch School on week days was 700, and at the Sunday School was close upon a thousand, alterations were necessary to make one large downstairs room, at a cost of £200. The Male Adult
Bible Class erected a “wooden erection” adjoining the school costing £100.
1878 The Rev James Pimblett, senior curate at St Mary, appointed to take charge of the district and at an early meeting it was decided both to build a church and to call it St Matthew. The church to seat 1,200 worshippers and the cost budgeted at £10,000.
1880 Saturday 16 October. The foundation stone of the church laid by Mr Hermon M.P. for Preston. Alderman James Hibbert, architect of the Harris Museum and Library, designed the church on “Gothic” lines.
1881 Four cottages in Delaware Street were rented to accommodate a temporary school numbering 120 children.
1882 1,072 scholars walked from St Matthew’s in the Church of England Guild procession.

Monday 23 July, at 11.15 am the church consecrated by the Bishop of Manchester with 28 attendant clergy.

The church designed in cruciform shape, only the body of the church, which provided seats for 700 worshippers was completed with fine pitch pine pews. Half of the seats were let at pew rents, another half were free seats.

1883 Furnishings of the new church. A harmonium lent by the Rev W. Ritson of Rivington. Oak communion table, communion chairs, lectern and reading desk, pulpit, oak footstool, communion clothes and altar linen and font all donated by generous individuals.

The cost of the new church, £6,000 made up of £1,000 donation from Horrockses & Miller & Co., £1,000 from the Harris Trustees, £1,400 from a grand monstre or bazaar following the laying of the foundation stone, £500 from Mr Edmund Hermon M.P., £1,800 raised by parishioners leaving £300 still on its opening to be raised.

Mr Richard Newsham gave £1,000 for the endowment of the Living.

Looking to the future: Mr W. Shorrock, Warden of St Matthew, speaking at the Congregational Tea Party, 7.30 p.m. Wednesday evening 26th July, set out the task for the mainly working class parishioners, they should “give up the idea of the penny offertory as now sufficient. The sums which had kept them afloat in the old place would not the new. They could not as yet rest on their oars for they had great work before them. The schools would require to be enlarged, they had the church to finish, and a parsonage to build.


Vicars of St Matthew

1883-1910 James Pimblett
1911-1923 Christopher Townson
1923-1926 Clement E. Davies
1927-1929 John H. Ward
1929-1954 Thomas Redfern Centre with Rev Harry Walton (Curate) on left
1955-1963 Harry Walton
1964-1977 Eric V. Jones
1978-1986 Mark Titterington
1986-1993 Michael Burgess
1996-2006 Phil Tyers
2008-2017 Peter Nunn
2018 to date Alistair McHaffie