The Division and Restoration
of Presbyterianism in Hull

It all began when... Edward VI, English Protestant King, invited Protestant scholars to universities. They and similar fled when Mary ruled. Returned with Elizabeth I, they had experienced a godly kingdom in Europe, and John Knox had created a Presbyterian Scotland, and for many the Elizabethan Settlement for the Church of England was not 'Pure' enough, thus the Puritans. She warned her would be successor James (in Scotland) about: "the sect with perilous consequence, such as would have no kings but a presbytery, and take our place while they enjoy our privilege..." In fact they were prepared to compromise with Kings, but what they did not see in the Bible was three orders of ministry - bishops, presbyters (priests) and deacons - and only two: presbyters and deacons. In the English Civil War and for the Commonwealth, her Settlement Church of England was dissolved.

In the Commonwealth period, Holy Trinity Church in Hull had been divided by 1650 between Presbyterians worshipping in the nave and Independents in the chancel. After the 1660 restoration, they were removed in 1669, and had nowhere to go.

In 1672 came the first Declaration of Indulgence, a toe-dip towards toleration rather than the intended one-Church comprehension. Presbyterians formed two congregations from 1672. Dagger Lane Independents was opened in 1698, with a Presbyterian minister appointed in 1767, but a Swedenborgian congregation was there by 1783.

Thirty two Scots met in 1838 in Hull to set up a congregation attached to the Newcastle Presbytery of the United Associate Synod of Scotland. In 1841 it rented the Dagger Lane chapel from a Mr Hill, who had lost his congregation.

Dagger Lane continued as Presbyterian with a commitment to purchase in 1846. Finances were tight and ministries problematic. Dagger Lane moved out to Spring Bank (on the site of Kwik Fit) in 1875. So this move preceded a very similar move for the Unitarians in Bowl Alley Lane to Park Street. In 1866 another Presbyterian Church had started in Prospect Street, again with Scottish origins, and it was to form Holderness Road (1872) and Newington (1895). The Presbyterian Church of England formed from unions in 1876 and so these became of one denomination. In 1931 the original church moved further with the suburban drift to Chanterlands Avenue, whereas Unitarian Park Street did not move. Prospect Street was destroyed in the war and so moved near to this Presbyterian church. In 1972 the Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Union in England formed the United Reformed Church; these two near churches formed one in 1980 still in Chanterlands Avenue with a team ministry involving others from 2005.

See also: Hoppen, Alison. (2013), 'St Ninian’s and St Andrew’s United Reformed Church A Brief History', St. Ninians and St. Andrews URC, Hull; [Online], Available World Wide Web, URL: [Accessed: Monday October 17 2016, 17:24].


Adrian Worsfold

Pluralist - Liberal and Thoughtful