2 July 2013

John Wroe in Ashton-under-Lyne

This building in Park Square, off Mossley Road, was threatened with demolition in 2003 but was given a Grade II listing because of its historical interest.

Founded the Christian Israelite Church and declared that
Ashton-under-Lyne would be the new Jerusalem.
Four gatehouses were built of which this building
was one. Later banished for alleged indecent
behaviour, he went to Australia where
the Christian Israelite Church
still survives today.'

Wroe was born in Bradford the son of a woolcomber and it was during an illness that he had visions which led to him establishing the Christian Israelite Church. He conducted baptisms in the River Medlock. The Sanctuary was built in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1825, and later became the Scala cinema. The gatehouse here became Ashton's cholera hospital, and later the Odd Whim pub.

In 1830 Wroe asked members of his flock for seven virgins, two of whom were to accuse him of indecent behaviour. Although acquitted, this spelled the end of his church in Ashton. In the novel Mr Wroe's Virgins, Jane Rogers  gives a fictional account of the virgins' story.
Below are links to John Wroe's three-part autobiography, plus a link to my review of the novel:

Private Communications, Given to John Wroe, Vol. I (1845)

Private Communications, Given to John Wroe, Vol. II (1846)
Private Communications, Given to John Wroe, Vol. III (1853)
Jane Rogers: Mr Wroe's Virgins (1991)


Glenn Borman said...

Thanks for this John was my Great Great Granddad Nice to see some of the buildings he left behind

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