There has been a church here at Townley Street since 1839. It was built to serve a new population created by the Industrial Revolution. During the 19th century changes occurred, including the coming of the railways and the growth of work in the area. The local community grew in numbers. By the end of the century it became clear that the church building was too small. The church was pulled down and a bigger building erected – its foundation stone was laid in 1901.

In 1926, a daughter church was built on Kenyon Lane and called Holy Innocents’ Church. This was to serve the people of Tonge and remained open until 1978, when its congregation joined with those at St Michael’s.

There have been a number of changes to the existing building since the beginning of the 20th century – the nave was built in 1912, the tower was added in 1926 and the Holy Innocents’ Chapel and Memorial area were completed in 1981. In 1990, the Old Vic was purchased by the church for parish use and the vicarage was relocated to Kirkway. Most recently, we have seen changes to the building which have included a re-ordered chancel with the creation of a more open and versatile space, the installation of a new sound system (including hearing loop) and a new disabled toilet and changes to the entrance area in the tower.

Ours is a beautiful building, but one which is there to serve the worshipping community as well as the needs of the parish.

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