Situated in the countryside town of Chorley, a market town in Lancashire, stands one of the most impressive new buildings in the whole county. We approached from the North, coming down the M61 Motorway (Preston – Manchester via Chorley and Bolton), which runs in a valley beneath Chorley. On the West side stands Botany Bay, a famous shopping tower, and on the right the Preston England Temple looks out at the passing traffic, shining in the shimmering sun.
We pulled off to have a look, as I have been past it a few times in the past.
The church itself was shut so we couldn’t get past the main gates, but the car park was open. The site itself is 15 acres, which translates as 6.1 hectares. It includes a chapel, the main church and a crematorium, as well as various missionary centres. The church is run by the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” also known as LDS or Mormon Church, which was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830, in New York, USA.
So why has this fantastic building arrived in Lancashire?
In 1837, Preston was chosen as a place to settle by the new Mormon Missionaries, and in 1998 the new church opened. Chorley is only 10 miles away from Preston itself, however it is actually the second temple to open in England, with the first in Surrey in the South of England.
At the top of the spire is a lovely golden statue, which, along with the rest of the church, stands out for miles around. The Temple also happens to be the largest Latter-Day Saints Temple in the whole of Europe.
The gates are furnished with sheet steel sections, that have some unique colour patterns on them, which I assume was deliberate, and they go quite well with the overall style of the site.
The building itself is constructed out of stone, with the outside finished in White Granite, sourced from the Italian Island of Sardinia. The roof is made out of Zinc, and overall it looks like some of the older churches in England, but in pristine condition.
It’s a fantastic building, and it doesn’t matter what religion you practice, the architecture alone is worth a visit, and despite it being so new, it blends into the old landscape of Lancashire really well, and adds to the charm of the greatest English county!