Retaining the character and unique design of All Souls is at the heart of our restoration project.
All Souls is a nationally important piece of architecture which is almost perfectly preserved. The Church was established at the heart of what is now Bolton’s Crompton community in 1881 by the Greenhalgh brothers. It is a unique Grade II* listed Gothic Revival building designed by Paley and Austin. By the 1980s the church community had dwindled and the building was no longer viable as a place of worship. The church was vested in The Churches Conservation Trust in 1987, the Trust was set up to maintain the up keep of historically important Church of England churches.
In 2007 a local resident, Inayat Omarji recognised the church’s neglected potential. He gathered support for the regeneration of All Souls and began to seek financial backing. In partnership with the Churches Conservation Trust a rescue plan was developed which would breathe new life into All Souls, crucially, for the benefit of the community and Bolton as a whole. With all plans and permissions in place building work finally began in August 2013.
The inside of the church had originally been designed to provide a view of the chancel to 800 people, unobstructed by pillars or aisles. This makes it uniquely adaptable to its new purpose as an events and community space.
The philosophy of the restoration was to preserve the original beauty of the church while incorporating the very best of contemporary design. The interior features two “pods” of modern design which provide office and conference space in a new and visually striking way. The newly designed space provides:
- Office space for social and private enterprise
- An events space in the main body of the church for heritage and community activity
- Five meeting rooms
- A ground floor coffee shop
- The ‘History Wall’ with photographs and stories featuring local people and their heritage.