Emmanuel, Carnforth

I recently visited Emmanuel Congregational Church at Carnforth. Typical of nineteenth century nonconformist chapels, it was built at our movement’s zenith; within a couple of generations, it must have felt far too big. Within a fourth generation the cost of maintaining it fell heavily on fewer folk. The story is found everywhere; depleting congregations and extravagant Victorian premises have resulted in many a chapel locking shut its doors. Emmanuel, I’m pleased to say, is still open and benefits from its own minister, offering North Lancashire additional witness to Christian truth. 


The meeting room is totally dominated by the organ, rather pompously pushing the pulpit from its central position. It isn’t just large charismatic churches which allow worship (ie music) to rule their meetings. A rather moving war memorial with a wonderfully blonde St George also exists in one of its corridors, doubtless commemorating some very personal losses.


I wish God’s blessing on the Carnforth congregation as it seeks to share the good news that sin can be forgiven.