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Presbyterianism came to Upton with Thomas Hannay when he moved into Greenbank around about 1880. In 1882 he applied to the Presbytery of Liverpool to establish a church in West Kirby, however by 1883 Mrs Hannay felt that the distance was too great for young families to travel, so she arranged for services and a Sunday School to be held in Greenbank.


When a new church was built in West Kirby in 1889, the old iron church was split in two, half going to Meols and the other half to Greasby which became the regular place of worship for Presbyterians in Upton.


By 1898 Greasby church was filled to overflowing. Mr Thomas Scott Hannay with, Mr David Richards of the Salacres, bought the site of the present church in Ford Road and gifted the money needed for the building of a new church. The architect Mr P. S. Hind was engaged to design the church and it was built by Thomas Quine

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The first meeting was held in the new church in April 1899, and on 2nd May that year The Reverend James C Smith was inducted as the first Minister. On 2nd July the first Lord's Supper was held in the church. Mrs Kirkland, wife of the Minister of the mother church in West Kirby, gave a gift of a communion set. The official opening service was on 11th May 1900 and was conducted by the Reverend Doctor Watson of Sefton Park Church.


The communion roll for 1899 had 40 names.


The minister's house (or Manse) was in Church Road, so in 1902 Mr Hannay and Mr Richardson bought a further piece of land behind the church for a Manse. Money was not available for the building, so in the meantime, it was laid out for bowls and tennis.


The church was licensed for marriages in 1903 and in the same year the Sunday School, still run by Mrs Hannay, celebrated its 20th Anniversary.

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David Richards died in 1906, a brass memorial plaque is mounted on the wall below the window by the entry to the church. The stained glass window above this plaque was installed in 1902 as a memorial to Kate (his wife), David Herbert (their only son) and Thomas Richard Roberts (their nephew).

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In 1915, one of the smaller rooms in the hall was rented to Miss McAuslane, for use as a school for young children. The rent, heating and lighting was paid by herself. This school would later become Kingsley Preparatory School.


Thomas Hannay died in 1917, his ashes, together with those of his wife who died in 1935, lie under a brass plaque on the floor opposite the entrance. A memorial plaque is mounted on the wall above them.

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During the first world war, the tennis club stopped using the land behind the church, and it was rented to Mr McCraig for £2 per year to grow vegetables for the war effort, this was on condition that he re-instated the tennis courts when he left.


By 1918 there were 110 names on the communion roll.


The Manse was finally built in 1921, it was designed by W Webb Shannon and built by E Devaney. The Minister moved from his accomodation in Church Road to the new Manse on 5th January 1922.


In 1921, after 38 years, Mrs Hannay resigned as superintendant of the Sunday School.


After the second world war in 1946, a memorial was placed on the wall of the church commemorating the members of the congregation who died in the two World Wars, 4 names where on it:

  • John Bell (WW 1), was the son of the minister, the Rev Benjamin Bell
  • Robert Connelly (WW 2), member of the merchant navy and son of the church treasurer
  • John Milne (WW 2), member of the Fleet Air Arm
  • Arthur Raybould (WW 2), Squadron Leader in the RAF, awarded the DSO and DFM

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The 1st Upton Company of the Boys Brigade was founded in 1956, and two years later the 1st Upton Girls Brigade was formed.


In 1957 Miss Wyne, principal of Kingsley Preparatory School, gave notice that she would be leaving the hall at the end of September as the school was moving into its own building.


Plans to extend the church hall were drawn up in 1970, however the congregation was unable to raise the necessary £12,000.


Upton Presbyterian Church became a congregation of the United Reformed Church on 5th October 1972.

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The final service in the United Reformed Church, led by the minister, the Reverend Debie Brown, was at 3pm on 26th July 2015, 116 years and 24 days after the first service. The Church Hall will be used by St. Mary’s Church for the next few months while their own site is redeveloped, during this time Upton United Reformed Church will formally continue.


List of Ministers


1. Upton Presbyterian Church

  • 1899 - 1901 .. .. .. James C. Smith
  • 1902 - 1903 .. .. .. I. C. Stephens Roose
  • 1903 - 1905 .. .. .. J. A. Drysdale
  • 1906 - 1920 .. .. .. Benjamin Bell
  • 1921 - 1926 .. .. .. R. Fulton
  • 1928 - 1933 .. .. .. W. Galt
  • 1933 - 1969 .. .. .. Victor Logan
  • 1969 - 1972 .. .. .. Charles Matheson

2. Upton United Reformed Church

  • 1972 - 1982 .. .. .. Charles Matheson
  • 1983 - 2002 .. .. .. Peter Roche
  • 2004 - 2007 .. .. .. Jenny Morgan
  • 2005 - 2011 .. .. .. Anne Bedford
  • 2011 - 2014 .. .. .. Hilary Bell
  • 2014 - 2015 .. .. .. Debbie Brown

United Reformed Church