Religion and Place: Liverpool's historic places of worship

By Sarah Brown, Peter de Figuereido

From unpromising beginnings as a small fishing port with only one church, Liverpool grew to be a city of churches and chapels. By 1900 a Liverpool resident need walk no more than a couple of streets from home in order to go to church. While the Church of England built the most ambitious buildings on the most prominent sites, the Nonconformist denominations were all well represented by the end of the 18th century. It was also in 18th century that this Christian predominance diversified, as Jewish merchants and traders settled in the town in significant numbers, becoming rapidly anglicised and assimilated.

In the 20th century some of the most exciting English churches of the period were built in Liverpool, reflecting the vitality of its School of Architecture, and some of Liverpool's 20th-century churches were among the first to be listed.

However, the depopulation of the inner city, shrinking and aging congregations and the decline in clergy numbers have all taken their toll on Liverpool's aging places of worship. Many have been declared redundant, closed and even demolished. Those that remain face many challenges - crumbling fabric in need of expensive restoration, and fewer people to pay for it. With energy, imagination and the right kind of help, these obstacles can be overcome, and as Liverpool prepares to take on the role of European city of culture, its places of worship, celebrated in this profusely illustrated book, remain one of the most beautiful, exciting and diverse aspects of its historic environment.


Foreword by the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool

  1. Cathedral city
  2. In the beginning
  3. God versus Mammon
  4. Worshipping with the wealthy
    Speculative enterprise
    Clerical celebrity
    Cast-iron gothic
    High church, low church
    Princes Park
    Sefton Park
  5. Blessed are the poor
    Churchgoing c1850
    Building for the poor
    A city fit for heroes?
    Brave new worlds?
  6. Cathedral ambitions
  7. A single city of many nations
    Passing through
    Putting down roots
    New wine in old vessels
    England’s first mosque
  8. Facing the future
    References and further reading

Additional Information

  • Series: Informed Conservation
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 96
  • Illustrations: 64, Colour and b&w
  • Product Code: 51334
  • ISBN: 9781848023161 (e-book)


If you require an alternative, accessible version of this document (for instance in audio, Braille or large print) please contact us:

Customer Service Department

Telephone: 0370 333 0607
Email: [email protected]