St Stephen's Church, Astley
|St Stephen's Church, Astley|
The third St Stephen's Church
|Location||Astley, Greater Manchester.|
St Stephen's Church is a parish church in Astley, Greater Manchester, England. It is an active Anglican church built in 1968 and part of Leigh deanery in the archdeaconry of Salford and diocese of Manchester. The church, together with St George's Church, Tyldesley and St John's Church, Mosley Common is part of the united benefice of Astley, Tyldesley and Mosley Common. Its origins are in Astley Chapel, a chapel of ease of Leigh Parish Church built in 1631 and its successor which was burned in an arson attack in 1961.
The first chapel, built and paid for by Adam Mort the wealthy owner of Damhouse who died in early 1631, was consecrated on 3 August in the same year by the Bishop of Chester. It was the first chapel of ease of the mother church of Leigh, and dedicated to St Stephen, the first Christian martyr. The chapel was built of local brick on part of the common. The Reverend Thomas Crompton, appointed by Thomas Mort, was the first minister in 1632.
The chapel stood for nearly 130 years until it was rebuilt after becoming dilapidated. The second, slightly larger chapel was built on the same site in 1760. Thomas Froggatt of Damhouse gave a contribution towards the cost of reconstruction. It was built of handmade brick and measured 54 ft 6 in (16.61 m) in length and 36 ft (11 m) in width. It could hold 170 people andhad a nave with four side and two end windows, and a small chancel and had an embattled western tower containing a single bell. The chapel was enlarged in 1834, 1842, and 1847. 
The second chapel was destroyed by fire on 18 June 1961 and it was decided not to rebuild it but relocate to a site on Manchester Road. The third St Stephen's Church was consecrated on 26 October 1968.
1632 Thomas Crompton, B.A. (ejected for nonconformity).
1683 John Battersby
1702 Roger Seddon, died 1716
1716 James Marsh, died 1728
1732 Thomas Mawdesley, died 1769
1769 Robert Barker
1822 Thomas Birkett
1838 John Wilkinson Edwards, B.A. died 1840
1840 Alfred Hewlett, D.D. died 1885
1885 James Alexander Maxwell Johnstone, M.A
2010 Jonathan Carmyllie (Team rector of the united benefice of Astley, Tyldesley and Mosley Common)
- St Stephen, Astley, St Stephen's Church, retrieved 23 May 2011
- Lunn 1968, p. 24
- St Stephens Astley, Lancashire Online Parish Clerks, retrieved 23 May 2011
- Astley, A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, Victoria County History (British History Online), 1907: 445–449, retrieved 28 July 2009
- "St Stephen - Astley". St Stephen's Church. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Lunn, John (1968), A short history of the township of Astley, Lunn