Affectionately named the White Church by locals, the Fairhaven United Reform Church is an iconic landmark in Lytham St Annes. Its marble-like façade, 90ft tower and three striking domes have become a much-loved addition to the close-knit Fairhaven community and a stunning addition to the skyline.
In 1899, as the population of Fairhaven was growing, the Lytham Congregational Church suggested that it expanded into the new community and a committee was formed to develop a plan. The land was secured in 1901 and by 1904 a church hall had been erected on the site with plans to build an adjoining church. By this time there was a congregation of sixty-seven.
The Byzantine style of this marble-like church holds great significance within religious heritage, as early Christian churches were often built in this style. Upon its opening in 1912 the Evening Gazette reported that it was ‘more distinct in its architectural features than the many other edifices nearby - it perhaps has no parallel in England’. The interior of the church is also noteworthy as it is designed in the shape of the Greek cross, and as such provides ample room for a large congregation, preacher and choir.
The story of the Old and New Testament, as well as the history of the church before and after the Reformation, is illustrated in the thirty-four stained-glass windows which add to the grandeur of the church. The subject of each window is attributed to Luke S. Walmsley, a founding member of the Church, and designed by London-based Charles Elliott. Each window was funded by church members - inscriptions below these windows reveal that many are lasting tributes to loved ones. The dedication of the members of the United Reform Church can also be seen in the furnishings, including the kneelers and seat cushions, many of which were gifted by church embroiderers.