Original architects engraving of All Saints, Heaton Norris
The foundation stone of All Saints Church Heaton Norris, designed by Stockport and Manchester architects Preston and Vaughan , was laid by Lady Egerton of Tatton (who had provided the land) in 1886, and the building was completed two years later. The building is in the Gothic revival style typical of the architect’s other local churches such as St. Augustine, Cheadle Heath, St. Andrew, Levenshulme (both now closed) and St. Alban, Offerton. It consists of yellow brick with red brick dressings.
The parish was carved out of a portion of that of Christ Church Heaton Norris, of which only the spire remains.
Due to the establishment of the Lancashire Hill Rope and Twine Company, a number of terraced streets had been built by speculative builders Morton’s, such as Sharples Street, Burton Street and Lloyd Street, and a need was felt for an Anglican church to serve them and the already established communities around Old Road and Lancashire Hill, in this part of Heaton Norris.
To keep costs down, local people were invited to help pay for the building of the church by ‘buying a brick’ at 1d (one pre-decimal penny) each, and as a further measure of economy, the church had only plain glass. Norfolk House, still in existence on the opposite side of Manchester Road was purchased for use as a Rectory, until funds could be raised for the provision of a purpose built one. Economy was obviously further down the agenda for the Rector, as this house had its own stables and carriage house!
Eventually, in 1900, a new Rectory was built adjacent to the church, at the same time as building commenced on the Church School across the road. The new Rectory (which is now in use as a children’s home) was, if anything, even more grand than Norfolk House and had servants quarters in addition to seven bedrooms. It is interesting to note that the first Rector to live in this mansion was unmarried and had no family! Unfortunately, this new Rectory had the disadvantage that it blocked the view of the church from the road almost entirely. This is still something of a problem today for people trying to find us.
In 1920, when the country was still in mourning for those killed in the Great War, parishioners raised money for the first stained glass window in the church, the magnificent east window, which is dedicated to their memory.
The magnificent east window, dedicated to those who lost their life in the Great War
Further stained glass followed with the Holman Hunt ‘Light of the World’ and the Sutcliffe ‘Children’s Window, both of which were incorporated into the new glass partition when the church was re-ordered. One of the particular glories of All Saints came in 1960, with the ‘Ave Maria Gratia Plena’ (Hail Mary, full of grace) window in the Lady Chapel, which depicts Our Lady on a background of vibrant blues.
In 1977, the new All Saints CE Primary School was built at the end of All Saints Road, on land which had previously been the Jubilee Railway Sidings, and the old school was demolished to make way for housing. This increased capacity in a modern school building and church and school continue to enjoy close links.
Perhaps the most important event in the history of the building came in 1986 when the church was found to be riddled with wet and dry rot, and was closed temporarily. Worship continued in the two schools in the parish; Christ Church and All Saints. Eventually money was raised to repair the church and it was decided to radically re-order the building at this time in order to make it more suitable not just for modern liturgical practice, but also for community outreach. In 1991 the church was re-ordered by Nick Rank Associates to create a Hall space separate from the Sanctuary. The large parish of Christ with All Saints covers a variety of social spectrums, including parts of Stockport Town Centre.