The spiritualist movement has been in Horwich since 1872. In 1899, John Ward founded the ‘society’, now known as Horwich National Spiritualist Church. The first home was based at 36 Beatrice Street, just behind the current premises on Chorley New Road. The spiritualist community built the church through fundraising, and taking out a loan of £1,000, paid off over the following decade. A celebration was held in 1935, with 240 past and present members and distinguished guests attending the celebration. The final cheque of £10 was handed over to the lenders, meaning that the church was without debt for the first time.
Religious activity has taken many forms over the years. Our Divine and Healing Services have been consistent throughout the our history, but we have also held many other events. Such events include Demonstrations of Mediumship, Open Circles, Awareness and Development classes and much more. We have offered many opportunities to live, learn and develop a spiritualist life for many people.
Our church has been the starting point for many Mediums over the years. The only known Minister of the Spiritualist National Union from Horwich church was Minister Lily Sherrington, Ordained in 1967. Lily was active in the church prior to the marriage to Jack Sherrington in 1938, and continued to serve Horwich, and wider spiritualism until her passing to the Spirit world in 1988. Lily became President of the Manchester District Council in 1979, and became a deputy for former President of the SNU, Minister Gordon Higginson. Horwich NSC has been blessed to have had dedicated friends throughout its history, be it trustees, committee officials, ordinary committee, members and the congregation. Our intention will be to list Lily and others in a page of dedication on this site over time, as we gather the history of the church.
Away from religious services, the church has often been a focal point for the community with Saturday dance nights, seasonal fair’s, jumble sales, and many more community events. Post World War II, the church took an active part in providing school diners to the local children, helping keep the local community running in very difficult times. 15 tables of 10 were served each day, meaning the church had a significant part to play in the community. We also were the home to the local Old Age Pensioners from 1942-1959 .
Horwich NSC Committee
Our church is ran by a dedicated committee, who work hard to keep the doors open, and provide the members of the church with a temple of spirituality. We also have a number of trustees who have responsibility for the church building, and here to support the church committee and members as required. To become a member of the committee, members who meet certain criteria are permitted to nominate themselves, or be nominated at annual elections of church officers and ordinary committee members. The elections are usually held at the AGM in March of each year.
Horwich NSC Committee Members – Church Officers (As of April 2023)
President – Mr Chris Sherrington
Vice President – Mrs Janet McManus
Secretary (Acting) – Mrs Janet McManus
Treasurer – Mr Stuart McCormack
Booking Secretary – Mrs Donna Davies
Horwich NSC Ordinary Committee Members (As of April 2023)
Mrs Cheryl Calderbank
Mr John Houghton
Miss Gemma Collinson
Horwich NSC Healing Lead (As of March 2022)
Mrs Janet McManus
SNU Church Representative (As of April 2023)
Mr Chris Sherrington