New Jerusalem of Haslingden

One of the most beautiful former church buildings in the Lancashire mill town of Haslingden is The New Jerusalem Church. Not only is it architecturally satisfying, and has a rather inspirational name, it has recently undergone a good sandblast, returning to its original warm, honey-coloured stone, not the blackened stone of most churches found in industrial areas. Take, for instance, the Anglican parish church, just a hundred yards up the road. Although sixty years older, the smog belches from chimneys has discoloured the masonry.

Above: St James', Haslingden

Below: New Jerusalem, Haslingden

Unfortunately, the New Jerusalem Church was Swedenborgian. Quite a strange word, and apt, for it was a strange denomination, founded on the teachings of a strange Swedish mystic who claimed to communicate with the spirit world, whilst also rejecting justification by faith and the trinity. It might be a handsome church with a great name, but I do not lament its closure back in the nineties. If New Jerusalem is to be obtained by the good folk of Haslingden, it would not be through the offices and ministry located at the New Jerusalem Church.

Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord had not spoken.Ezekiel 22:28