New church opens in Rochdale town centre in building formerly used as restaurant and nightclub

Date published: 25 June 2021

A new church that aims to attract young people has been officially opened in Rochdale town centre in a building that has a long history as a Temperance Hall, a dance hall, a nightclub and a restaurant.

The minister, Revd Janie Cronin, was licensed by the Bishop of Manchester to Nelson Street Church, in a service that celebrated the transformation of the building and the start of an ambitious network of interventions in Rochdale.

The interventions include church plants, estates ministry, a new Church Army Centre of Mission, and the new town centre church planted in partnership with the Church Revitalisation Trust.

The conversion of the former restaurant forms part of a £5m funding bid by the Diocese of Manchester to grow younger and more diverse churches.

The money will be used to create three creative new churches over five years, this one in Rochdale along with churches in Hulme and Chorlton. The Diocese is aiming to reach people aged under 40, the generation that it says is often missing from churches.


Nelson Street Church


The Diocese purchased the building in Nelson Street specifically for this project and engaged architects to completely refurbish it, with financial support from the Church Commissioners’ Strategic Development Fund.

The building was dedicated as a place of worship and a house of prayer in a celebratory service by The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester on Wednesday (24 June).

Revd Janie Cronin was licensed as minister to the church and welcomed by Ecumenical partners, the mayor of Rochdale, Aasim Rashid, and MP for Rochdale, Sir Tony Lloyd.


Nelson Street Church


The Bishop of Bolton, the Rt Revd Mark Ashcroft, gave the address and spoke of the project being born out of many years of prayer and an inspiring vision for Rochdale. He emphasised the importance of working with ecumenical partners and local churches to take the next step of faith on the journey together to bring new hope to the town and wider area.

Nelson Street Church has grown an online congregation of about 40 people during the Covid lockdown and this was the first opportunity for many to meet each other face to face.

For more details about Nelson Street Church and its current services, please visit

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