Our Ministry
Known locally as ‘Gerrard’s Chapel’, the ministry
was originally built in 1891 and underwent a £1 million
transformation in 2023.


It is the last standing church of 25 that were built between 1870 and 1905 by J. Gerrard & Sons, born in Swinton.

The original church predated the ministry, being founded in c1850 and having a Presbyterian Chapel which originally stood where the Ministry of Work car park is today.

In 1871, a local builder, Jonathan Gerrard bought the chapel and surrounding houses together with the land. The Primitive Methodist chapel could hold 200 and was known as Swinton Bar Chapel because there was a toll bar across the road between Worsley Road & Chorley Road. It is believed that Mr Gerrard paid £200 for the original church and surrounding land.

In 1891, the Ministry we see today opened at a cost of £1,250, with a Sunday School building following in 1907.

The Sunday School was sited from the end terraced house on New Cross Street (where the car park is now) up to the garage at the end of the row but was demolished around the late 1960’s,

The Ministry served the local community as Manchester Road Methodist Church (aka Gerrards Chapel) from 1891 until the 3rd of March 2019, where it held its final service of worship and closed its doors.

The Renovation

In late 2020 , Ministry of Work founder Eddie Whittingham, bought the Ministry, with the intention of transforming it into a premium coworking space. Having received planning permission, work began to transform the ministry in December 2022.

23rd November 2020

Photograph captured during our viewing of the space when it was originally put up for sale in 2020. It was still set out for Sunday Service! We later submitted a “blind bid” to purchase the building in December 2020. The original ceiling lights now take pride of place in our kitchen!

25th June 2021

Following a lengthy legal process, we became the official owners of the property on 25th June 2021 and made an application for planning shortly after. The church organ that stood within the arch had been removed prior to our ownership and donated to another location.

18th January 2022

We were granted planning permission in January 2022 and started work on stripping the Ministry back to a ‘shell’ ready for the main works to commence. This included removing the gas supply, as we wanted to commit to building an eco-conscious building from the off.

29th July 2022

The building was in need of a complete overhaul, which included a new roof as water was coming into the main hall (which still had its original roof from 1891!). The roof to the single storey extension was also in need of updating urgently.

27th October 2022

Demolition continued into the autumn, removing the partitions of the previous toilets and old kitchen – which now forms our toilets, shower and reception area.

7th December 2022

We stripped the walls back to brick in order to create some dramatic features within the space and began erecting temporary scaffolding so that we could pull down the original ceiling and improve the insulation to modern standards.

12th December 2022

The first major structural alteration took place installing these large metal beams to support the roof after we removed a large supporting wall that held the chimney above it. Our intention here was to maximise the space, creating a large vaulted area, which is where our kitchen is located today.

16th December 2022

We discovered a time capsule underneath the floorboards that had been buried on 1st January 2000 as part of the millennium celebrations. It says not to be opened before 2050, so we have relocated this back within the building… and we’ll all have to wait a few years to find out what’s inside!

21st December 2022

With the temporary scaffolding in place, we set about the (very) messy job of pulling down the original lath and plaster ceilings. In our original planning, we had only intended to do a half mezzanine floor in the main church hall. It wasn’t until we stood on the temporary scaffolding right beneath the original stained glass window that we decided we had to make the new floor go across the whole hall to make the most of the space.

10th February 2023

Using a mixture of insulation board and wool, we began packing out the original rafters so that we could improve the insulation dramatically. This was pivotal in order to create a warm, welcoming space and to bring the building in line with modern building practices. The insulation has also gone a long way to helping us become a more eco-conscious building, as we achieved an ‘A’ rated EPC rating – which is amazing considering the Ministry was originally built in 1891!

28th February 2023

As part of our overhaul of the roof, where we retained the original roof tiles, we also installed 48 solar panels to help bolster our sustainability credentials and these will save around 9 tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere every single year.

13th April 2023

With updated planning permission approved for a full mezzanine floor, we began digging footings and preparing for the steel structure to go in within the original hall.

21st June 2023

The new ‘first floor’ was under construction, with beams being put in place and joisted out, as well as making good the original floor downstairs.

1st July 2023

Downstairs remained a little hectic. Here we can see the building materials in place ready to start creating the partition walls to form each private office.

28th July 2023

Fully boarded out, we finally had our brand new floor to create our unique upstairs space. At this stage all of the original brickwork was also repointed to create amazing features throughout the downstairs offices and, of course, around the original stained glass window here.

31st October 2023

We could finally start getting paint on the walls in certain parts of the Ministry, including first coats on the original wooden trusses. The early stages of the air-to-air heating and cooling system also started to take shape.

2nd November 2023

The custom built staircase arrived and began the transformation of the kitchen area. It also meant we were able to do ‘hard hat tours’ of the space without guests climbing a ladder. That first walk up an actual flight of stairs into that newly created space was a big moment!

18th November 2023

Another big step. We began putting the flooring down as well as installing light fittings and we really started to see the space coming to life.

22nd November 2023

Downstairs we were able to start fitting the glass partition office fronts, creating 8 individual private offices – all complete with a pair of their own original stained glass windows.

28th November 2023

The transformation of the reception got underway in late November ‘23, with a brand new entrance being fitted. Shortly after, we began tiling the toilets and reception floors ready for final fixing and decorating.

6th December 2023

The final stages of overhauling the dated single storey extension, as we resurfaced the car park and surrounding areas and built an entrance ramp to make the building more accessible.

The Ministry of Work officially opened it’s doors on 4th January 2024, where it will continue to serve the local community, albeit in a slightly different way to what it has done traditionally, for many years to come.


Sustainability is a key part of what we do at the Ministry of Work. It has been ever since we removed the gas supply for the building right at day one of the rip out.

We’re proud to say our building is paper-free and 100% powered by sustainably sourced power, with the majority coming from the 48-solar panels we have on our roof!

During the renovation project, we worked our socks off and are absolutely delighted that we achieved an ‘A’ rated EPC. Which is no mean feat for a building originally built in 1891!

Here’s a few of the ways we’re helping to reduce our footprint:

  • We invested in 48 solar panels, saving 9 tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere each and every year
  • Additional electricity requirements are sourced solely from renewable technologies
  • Paper-free office
  • Recycling of waste
  • Bamboo toilet roll (seriously…!)
  • Strictly no paper towels – low energy hand dryers
  • Motion activated heating and lighting, to ensure they’re only being used when they’re needed
  • Locally sourced produce and preferred suppliers

But, this is just the beginning.

As a business that believe that we can (and should) be doing more to help protect our planet, we’re always evaluating new ways we can reduce our footprint and add a positive impact to our local community and the world beyond.