History

Blackpool South Shore Unitarian Church owes its origins to an isolated congregation which formed in 1894 as an off-shoot from Blackpool North Shore Unitarian Church (which sadly no longer exists). To begin with, this 'off-shoot' congregation held its services in a nearby Masonic building until it managed to have its own church built where it currently still stands. The foundation stones for the new church building were laid in November 1902. The ceremony being carried out by leaders of the South Shore Movement, Mr and Mrs JRG Grundy and Mr CC Grundy, (later to become Sir Cuthbert Grundy) and presided over by Rev. HV Mills, president of the North Lancashire and Westmoreland Unitarian Association. Rev. D Davis (North Shore Unitarian Church) was also in attendance. Like many churches in every denomination across the country, numbers attending fell drastically during the 20th century and church buildings fell into a state of dilapidation, many being deconsecrated and sold off. Blackpool South Shore Unitarians also experienced falling numbers and by the time of its centenary in 2002, numbers attending had almost entirely failed. The church hall also fell into a state of extreme disrepair, to such an extent that it could not secure even basic fire insurance. At this time a new Minister took on the daunting challenge of helping to turn things around. When Rev Dr Ray Milward arrived, there were only six hard pressed members of congregation remaining. Numbers were then bolstered in 2004 with the arrival of a contingent from a nearby Unitarian church, where Rev Milward had previously been Pastor in training, whereupon serious fund raising activities were launched. These resulted in raising sufficient capital to refurbish the church buildings and interiors to the standard to which they remain today.