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A new chapter for Ardwick Green Barracks as the home of Fabric Church

First published on: 25th March 2024

A new church was officially opened yesterday in Ardwick Green Barracks. The service was well attended by almost two hundred people who gathered to worship and celebrate the progress in refurbishing the building and the start of ambitious plans for the future.

During the Palm Sunday service, the Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester formally licensed the Revd Dr Mark Roper and the Revd Nakita Ainsworth, as ministers of Fabric Church.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester Yasmin Dar and Vice Lord-Lieutenant Sharman Birtles were in attendance alongside the Rt Revd Dr Matthew Porter, Bishop of Bolton and Salford.

The Diocese of Manchester has been working in partnership with the Church Revitalisation Trust (CRT) to open Fabric Church and refurbish the building, following a successful bid to the Church of England’s Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board.

The Barracks have been an important part of the city centre since they were completed in 1886, serving as home to battalions of the Manchester Regiment, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and as a detention centre during the Second World War. Now they offer a space for worship particularly aimed at students and young professionals living and working in the city.

Part of the building has been refurbished to create a space for the church to gather, co-working facilities, and children’s Sunday School areas. Over the next year, work will continue to refurbish the drill hall creating an even larger worship space. More plans for the building will be finalised over the coming months.

The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester said, “ I am delighted that Fabric Church is now up and running, and serving the people who live in and around Manchester City Centre. With the city centre population growing rapidly, our commitment to having a worshipping, witnessing and serving presence at the heart of each community. “

The Rt Revd Dr Matthew Porter, Bishop of Bolton and Salford said, “Fabric Church has made a great start in Manchester and I'm delighted to join with Bishop David to formally commission Mark, Nakita and the team. Their love for Christ, passion for people and vision for mission is infectious and I look forward to seeing how this strategic church positively influences Manchester and beyond in the coming years.“

Manchester Diocese is leading the way with innovative approaches to opening new churches and revitalising existing ones. Under the leadership of Bishop David Walker, the diocese is working to achieve a vision of being a ‘worshipping, growing and transforming Christian presence at the heart of every community’. Fabric church is expanding the diocese’s offering to those who live and work in Manchester city centre.

For more details about Fabric Church and its current services, please visit  

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