Presbyterianism came to Upton with Thomas Hannay when he moved into Greenbank around about 1880. In 1882 he applied to the Presbytery of Liverpool to establish a church in West Kirby, however by 1883 it was found that the distance was too great for young families to travel, so Mrs Hannay arranged for services and a Sunday School to be held in Greenbank.
In 1889 a church was established in Greasby and this became the regular place of worship for Presbyterians in Upton.
By 1898 the small church in Greasby was filled to overflowing, so Mr Hannay, with Mr David Richards of The Salacres, bought the site of the present church on Ford Road and gifted the money needed to build a church. The architect Mr P. S. Hind was engaged to design the church and it was built by Mr Quine, a local contractor who had his office and yard in Upton Village (Where arrowe Park Road is now).
The first meeting was held in the new church in April 1899 and the first minister, the Reverend J C Smith, was appointed on 2nd May 1899.
The first service was held on the 2nd of July that year. A communion set was given as a gift by Mrs Kirkland, the wife of the minister of the mother church in West Kirby. The communion roll in 1899 contained 40 names.
In 1902 Mr Hannay and Mr Richards bought a further piece of land behind the church to build a Manse, but this was not built for a further 20 years, it was finally completed in January 1922. Before the Manse was completed the ministers lived in a house in Church Road. While waiting for the Manse to be built, the land was laid out with tennis courts and bowling greens. During the First World War, Mr J McCraig rented the tennis courts for £2 per year to grow vegetables for the war effort, this was on condition that he re-instated the tennis courts when he left.
David Richards died in 1906. The stained glass window by the entrance to the church was installed as a memorial to him, a brass plaque below the windows commemorates the event.
Thomas Hannay died in 1917, his ashes, together with those of his wife who died in 1935, lie under a brass plaque on the floor opposite the entrance. A memorial plaque is mounted on the wall above them.
A memorial plaque was unveiled in 1946 commemorating the members of the congregation who died in the two World Wars. The plaque has four names:
- Bell (WW 1) – Son of the minister, the Reverend Benjamin Bell.
- Robert Conelley (WW 2) – Son of the church treasurer and a member of the merchant navy.
- John Milne (WW 2) – Member of the Fleet Air Arm.
- Arthur Raybould (WW 2) – Squadron Leader in the RAF, awarded the DSO and DFM.
The 1st Upton Company of the Boys’ Brigade was formed in 1956, and two years later the 1st Upton Girls’ Brigade was formed.
In 1970 there were plans to extend the church hall, however the congregation were unable to raise the necessary £12,000.
Upton Presbyterian Church became a congregation of the United Reformed Church on 5th October 1972.
With a dwindling congregation the Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade companies disbanded.
The last minister, The Reverend Debbie Brown, was appointed in 2014.
The final service in the United Reformed Church was at 3 o’clock this afternoon, 116 years and 24 days after the first service, the church was full with around 200 people in the congregation.
The Church Hall buildings will be used by St. Mary’s Church for the next few months while their own site is redeveloped, during this time Upton United Reformed Church will formally continue, but after that who knows?