Fairfield Moravian Settlement
The picture below is reproduced from a print and shows the principal buildings of the Settlement facing onto the South Terrace. Although some of the open land in the foreground has since been developed, the buildings have remained almost unchanged. The picture shows the Church in the centre, and the Brethren’s House and Sisters’ House on the right.
The Moravian Church is one of the smaller religious bodies in Britain; but with a long and honourable history. It is the oldest Free Church in Northern Europe, being a Reformed Church sixty years before the Reformation. It was founded in 1457, arising out of the work of John Hus who had preached in Prague, in the Czech Republic. The Church was almost wiped out during the Thirty Years War which took place in that country but survived as a hidden seed and was revived with the help of a German nobleman, Count Zinzendorf in 1722. In the 18th century some congregations were established as Settlements, where Moravians might live and follow their private vocations as members of a disciplined Christian Brotherhood. Fairfield was one of these Settlements opened in 1785.
Fairfield was planned and built by its own people and was a self-contained, self-sufficient and self-governed village. It had its own inn, shop, bakery, farm, laundry, fire-engine, night-watchman, inspector of weights and measures, an overseer of roads and even its own physician. There were community houses for the single brethren and sisters.
Fairfield is now no longer a self-contained village. Yet it still retains much of its original character and uniqueness with its inward looking layout, treatment of buildings and spaces, clean and simple lines of the late Georgian Architecture and the mature trees preserve a pleasing 18th century character. The Settlement is of unique importance nationally, being the largest of its kind in Britain and has been made into a Conservation Area with all of its buildings listed as being of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
Despite the many changes in the life of the Settlement over the past 200 years, the Church, with its worshipping and serving congregation remains its focus and heart. Public worship takes place each Sunday at 11am and on most Sunday evenings, except the first in the month at 6.30pm, offering a warm welcome to all. Sunday School for children aged between 3 and 15 years old meets every Sunday at 10am. There are also various flourishing Scout and Guide groups for boys and girls from 5 year old and upwards.
For more information please contact the Minister on 0161 370 1856.
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