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The boom in the silk industry saw the fortune of the town of Macclesfield rise and its population to grow.  There was an increasing need for burial space beyond what the parish church of St Michael and All Angels could provide.  Charles Roe, a local industrialist, owned large swathes of land including the 'marled bank' which Christ Church now stands upon and he offered this up for additional burials, charging people for the privilege.


Roe was an evangelical Christian and invited a young evangelical preacher called David Simpson to become curate at St Michael's on the Market Place.  However, Simpson's sermons were seen as too radical for the Church of England at that time and he was later stripped of his post.  Roe's intention was to build a small mortuary chapel on the new burial site, but decided instead to build a much larger church so Simpson had somewhere to preach.  He had to secure an Act of Parliament in order to do so.


Unusually, there was no parish with the new church and Roe retained the right to appoint churchwardens, rent out pews and sell off grave plots and vaults.  The foundation stone was laid in May 1775 and the church was completed at considerable speed in order to hold the first service on Christmas Day of that same year; the tower took two years longer to finish.


In total, the church cost £8,000, equivalent to around £700,000 today.  Roe said the new church was a thank-offering for his success in business and 're-affirmed his desire to have at least one foot in the Church of England'.

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