The first Unitarian meeting place in Padiham was founded in 1806 by two local weavers, James Pollard and Henry Robinson (pictured above in the Chapel window) – in a small house in East Street. They were followers of Joseph Cooke, a disaffected Methodist preacher in East Lancashire, who became known as a ‘Methodist Unitarian’.
The 21st of July 2013 marked the 200th Anniversary of the Unitarian Relief Act. This Act repealed the penalties detailed for non compliance with the Act of Uniformity of 1662 whereby the only legal form of public worship was as defined in The Book of Common Prayer published at that time. As a result of the Test Acts and the Blasphemy Acts the penalties for non compliance and deviance from the official Book were considerable.
British Unitarianism traces its roots to 1662 and the radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. In 1689, The Act of Toleration decriminalised worship other than in the Church of England, and many new places of worship opened immediately thereafter, many of which have since evolved into Unitarianism.