During the first half of the 18th century, independent colleges for the training of future non-conformist ministers were established in various parts of the country, because such people were not allowed to study at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. One of these colleges was the famous Academy founded by the Rev. Dr. Philip Doddridge at Castle Hill, Northampton in 1730.
In 1827, a group of members of this non-conformist church (now Castle Hill United Reformed Church), reacting to a new and less liberal theology, left to form a Unitarian church. After a few months in rented accommodation, they moved in 1828 to an old Methodist Church in King Street (now demolished).
Worship continued there for seventy years until in 1897, through the benevolence of Sir Philip Manfield, it was possible to move to a grand new church in Abington Square, which became known as Kettering Road Free Church. The congregation stayed there until March 2000, when we moved to Hazelwood Road. Our latest, and we hope final, move took place in December 2015, when we settled into our new home, Northampton Unitarians Meeting House, just off Horse Market, opposite Sol Central. We are therefore part of the great non-conformist tradition of Northampton, with the special role of a faith without a creed.
Northampton Unitarians are a member congregation of the Midland Unitarian Association, and are affiliated to the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches.
For a fuller history of the Unitarian presence in Northampton, please see:
- Northampton Unitarians 1827 – 2002: the Story So Far by Frank Field.