New Church House Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of cash books, pew rent books, minute books, a voucher book and a letter book, reports and miscellaneous items relating to the North of England New Church House. The collection also contains sermons, addresses and prayers written by Rev. John Clowes, M.A. (1743-1831), his published and unpublished works, and reports of Manchester Printing Society.

Administrative / Biographical History

Although The North of England New Church House dates from an amalgamation of a number of organisations in 1928, it can claim to have been in operation for over two hundred years and traces its history to 1782. That year the Society of Gentlemen in Manchester was founded to print and publish the translations of the work of Emanuel Swedenborg by the Rev. John Clowes (1743-1831), Rector of St John's Church in Byrom Street, Manchester. In 1801 this Society was renamed the Manchester Printing Society. The Manchester and Salford Missionary Society was instituted in 1813, later being renamed the North of England Missionary Society of the New Church. In 1837 the Manchester Tract Society was founded and in 1871 this Society was amalgamated with the Manchester Printing Society to form the Manchester New Jerusalem Church Printing and Tract Society, which in turn, was was renamed the Manchester New Jerusalem Church Printing and Tract Society in 1926. The Manchester New Church House came into being in 1923 to find suitable premises for the Society in the centre of Manchester. The final amalgamation took place in 1928 when the Manchester New Church Publishing Society, the North of England Missionary Society of the New Church and the Manchester New Church House joined forces and became the North of England New Church House.

D.K. & M. McCallum, New Church House and its origins 1782-1982 (Manchester: The North of England New Church House, 1982).

Arrangement

The New Church House collection has been arranged into two sub-fonds: material relating to New Church House and material relating to Rev. John Clowes, M.A. (1743-1831).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection. Viewing is by prior appointment. Please contact archivist@chethams.org.uk.

Acquisition Information

The closure of the Church's premises on John Dalton Street Manchester in 2013 brought to an end the Church's presence in the centre of the city and printed and archival material was transferred to Chetham's Library in a series of deposits. Chetham's was chosen by the Church to take archival material because the Library already held the portrait and also the manuscript autobiography of the Rev. John Clowes and it was felt that material relating to Clowes and to the origins and early years of the Society should remain in Manchester. The printed book collection consists of works by Clowes, including translations from Swedenborg, as well as accounts of the Society’s history, the histories of particular Swedenborgian churches in the North of England, periodicals and children’s literature.

Genre/Form