St Elisabeth's Church, Reddish

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St. Elisabeth's Church
St Elisabeths.JPG
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Anglo-Catholic
Dedication St. Elisabeth
Diocese Manchester
Province York
Rector Rev. Angie Stanton
Priest(s) Vacant

St. Elisabeth's Church is an Anglo Catholic church in Reddish, Stockport designed by Alfred Waterhouse in the Victorian Gothic style. It is a grade I listed building.


Local mill-owner Sir William Houldsworth commissioned Alfred Waterhouse in the 1870s. Construction took place between 1881 and 1883, paid for entirely by Houldsworth,[1] with consecration in 1883. The church was named after Houldsworth's wife.[2] Described by Pevsner as "a superb job, big-boned, with nothing mean outside or in",[1] the church is of Openshaw brick with Wrexham stone dressings. An almost separate belltower contains eight bells cast by Taylor.[3]

Pillars supporting the nave's roof were transported from the nearby canal to the site on the backs of elephants from Belle Vue Zoo.[2][3] There is a marble screen with four figures on top, possibly the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The strikingly modern Stations of the Cross, by Graeme Willson were commissioned in 1983, and include local views such as Stockport Viaduct, and Pendlebury Hall on Lancashire Hill, Stockport.


St. Elisabeth's is an Anglo-Catholic church, i.e. high church within the Church of England,[4] reflecting Houldsworth's own beliefs.[5] There are several services each week, the main Sung Mass being at 10:30 on Sunday.


The organ was originally built by William Hill & Son of London. It was ordered in 1882 (as Job No. 1854) but was not completed until 1885. It had three manuals and pedals, with tubular pnuematic action linking the detached console on the south side of the choir stalls to the organ on the north side of the chancel, in an elevated position in the Triforium. It was rebuilt by Wadsworth Brothers of Manchester in 1929. During the late 1960s it was disastrously rebuilt by a small, local firm Charles H Smethurst Ltd, to a much reduced specification. The original specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register:


The rectory is a grade II* listed building

A rectory, also designed by Alfred Waterhouse, was built for the church in 1874. It, and the walls the south and west of the church, are all grade II* listed buildings.[6][7][8]

Use as film and TV set[edit]

St. Elisabeth's was used as a set for the wedding of Ashley Peacock and Maxine Heavey in the TV soap opera Coronation Street.[9] The Church also featured as the setting for the BBC children's drama "Clay" broadcast on CBBC, and later released on a BBC DVD (2008) BBC shop. Extensive modifications to the vestry and interior of the Church were required to change it into a Catholic church in 1960's Tyneside. It was based on the novel "Clay" by David Almond and starred Imelda Staunton. IMDB entry for Clay.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus (1969). The Buildings of England: South Lancashire. London: Penguin Books. pp. 371–372. ISBN 0-14-071036-1. 
  2. ^ a b Cronin, Jill (2000). Images of England: Reddish. Stroud, Glos: Tempus Publishing. pp. 54–56. ISBN 0-7524-1878-5. 
  3. ^ a b "History". St Elisabeth's. Retrieved 9 October 2006. 
  4. ^ "What's it like?". St Elisabeth's. Retrieved 9 October 2006. 
  5. ^ Howe, A. C. (2004). "Houldsworth, Sir William Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 October 2006. 
  6. ^ "Former rectory to Church of St Elisabeth". Images of England. Retrieved 9 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "Wall to west of Church of St Elisabeth". Images of England. Retrieved 9 June 2008. 
  8. ^ "Wall to west and south of Church of St Elisabeth". Images of England. Retrieved 9 June 2008. 
  9. ^ "Street dreams". Yorkshire Post. 7 October 1997. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°26′17″N 2°09′48″W / 53.437972°N 2.163303°W / 53.437972; -2.163303