CHESTER’S only tin chapel marked its 100th anniversary with a special service on Sunday.
Sealand Road United Reformed Church, on the corner of Whipcord Lane and Catherine Street, Chester, was built in May 1909.
The Rev Martin Hardy, of Sedum Close, Huntingdon, said: “About 60-70 people attended including local councillors, former members and Christine Russell and the Lord Mayor and mayoress.
“Sue Rawski made an anniversary cake which we all enjoyed after the service.
“People stayed for a long time reminiscing about the history of the church and we were fortunate to have good weather.”
The building came in the form of a flat-pack set costing a mere £282, funded by donations from loyal churchgoers JW Clarke and JA Rigby.
Such donations would have been a huge boost to churchgoers at a time when the average manual workers’ wage was £1 a week.
It was supposed to be a temporary structure but has stood the test of time, surviving both world wars unscathed and still standing proud today.
Today the £282 set-up cost would equate to about £55,000.
Mr Hardy has been with the church, linked with Garden Lane Methodist Church, for two years.
He said: “The tin church was built probably as a temporary structure to provide a school room and place of worship for the local community and families from the barges.”
The first minister of the church was the Rev Jesse Salt, from 1909-1914.
In 1911 the church had 25 committed adults and 105 children.
Tin chapels, or tabernacles as they are often known, were sparked by the invention of corrugated and galvanised sheet iron in 1828.