Earlsdon is a suburb a mile or so to the south west of Coventry city centre, and was laid out and developed in 1852 by the Freehold Land Society in an effort to ease the housing problem in the city.
According to the 1861 census 107 houses had been built and were occupied by a total of 571 men, women and children. The principal occupation of the wage-earning males was watchmaking. The premises and skills continued to be used when the watchmaking industry declined, being replaced by many small and professional businesses such as cycle and motor cycle manufacture, precision engineering, printing, financial, advisory and architect's offices, and many others.
Until 1890 the population remained fairly static, but with Earlsdon's incorporation in that year with the city of Coventry, things changed. By the turn of the century Albany Road had been constructed, connecting the estate directly to the city for the first time. This enabled the surrounding land to be developed, and with the building of numerous side streets and avenues, which almost submerged the little estate - also infilled to capacity - the population rose dramatically.
Today, a hundred and more years later, Earlsdon still retains a strong sense of community and identity unique in the city. Its excellent shopping centre, its parks, churches, schools, library, theatre, pubs, restaurants - and the many societies and groups which meet in the area, catering for nearly every social, sporting and educational activity - contribute to its being recognised as one of the most desirable residential areas in the city.
Albany Road, to the north-east, and Earlsdon Street, to the south-west, are the focus of the business and shopping areas, while the rest is for the most part residential. The north-west to south-east line is followed by Earlsdon Avenue North and Earlsdon Avenue South respectively. The latter includes several large properties which over the years have been converted to residential homes etc.
Earlsdon contains a large number of properties which have been converted into flats, many of these supporting a student population, providing accommodation for those attending both Coventry and Warwick Universities.
For further information on Earlsdon's history click here.
This started life in a derelict Ribbon Factory. The members then built what is today the Criterion Theatre, before constructing the present building in its prominent location. [See map].
A note on those early days can be found in the small book produced by Arthur Pearson in 1930, and reproduced here. You can also look for some of your family members on a set of photographs from the 1950s.
Over the years it has provided facilities for both Sunday Worship and other activities - church-related and secular - with the adjacent Church Hall being a major asset in this. However a church building which is only used on Sundays is wasteful, and for several years we have pursued ways in which it can be put to greater use by the community.
One of our earlier uses was the provision of office facilities for the "Crossroads" charity. They have now moved to larger premises, and the bereavement charity "Cruse" now has its offices here.
While this was a start, we were determined to open the building up so that, whatever people's beliefs, they should be able to come inside and feel comfortable. To this end we undertook a series of major developments. Details of these are available, as well as details of the Wellspring innovation and series of Concerts which support us in this outreach.
Meanwhile, recognising that we share with other christian churches within the district, we are members of CTEC (Churches Together in Earlsdon and Chapelfields).