All Saints` church was built in the town centre at the end of the 1840`s for the sum of £2000. It was one of the few churches in the country to be built by subscription and set up under Private Patronage.
A large number of cotton workers had been taught to read and understand the Bible by a young Curate in the town, and it was their desire to build a church and call him as their Minister. So collections were made of 1p or 2p per week from their meager wages until the sum of £1000 had been collected and the foundation stone could be laid; this was done by the mayor in 1846; the money being supplemented by gifts from local business men. This enabled the Trustees to call the Rev. William Walling to be the Minister.
The Church was declared open for worship on the 26th September 1848 and consecrated 2 years later on the 13th December 1850. These achievements were even more remarkable as the 1840`s were “lean years” in the town; in 1847 cotton operatives in Preston had to submit to a 10% reduction in their wages until trade improved and needless to say, there was much poverty in the area. Thus the church was given the title “The Poor Man’s Church”.
The church, built in the Grecian / Ionic style with a large gallery and box pews, was designed to seat 1500 people. Neat gas fittings were placed within the building.
A strong emphasis on preaching and teaching the Word of God has been given throughout the church’s 165 year history, and many young men and women have gone into full-time Christian work both in this country and overseas – especially to China in the 1900`s.
This pattern continues today, drawing church members from all parts of the city and beyond, including the University of Central Lancashire which is on its doorstep.