signed " Vincent Reade" and further inscribed signed and dated on the reverse, "St James Church / Birch-in-Rusholme / Manchester / A Vincent Reade / Oct 1931"
Birch Chapel was built by the Birch family in the late 16th century. During the Commonwealth Period it was in the hands of the Presbyterians, and was not restored to the Church of England until the ejection of Henry Finch in 1697. Until 1838 it was a chapelry of the ancient parish of Manchester. It was assigned as its District Rusholme and part of Moss Side by Order of Council, 14 September 1838, (London Gazette, 29 March 1839). On 13 May 1845 the foundation stone of a new church was laid and work completed in 1846. The old chapel was demolished, and the new church consecrated on 1 July 1846. The boundaries of the District assigned to St. James's were more clearly defined by Order in Council, 8 June 1854, (London Gazette, 16 June 1854), when a District was also assigned to Holy Trinity, Rusholme. In 1861 part of the parish was assigned to St. Peter's, Levenshulme, by Order in Council, 26 June, (London Gazette, 28 June 1861). Part was transferred to Holy Innocents, Fallowfield, in 1873 by Order in Council, 30 August, (London Gazette, 2 September 1873), and part to St. John Chrysostom Victoria Park, in 1878 by Order in Council, 16 May (London Gazette, 21 May 1878).
In 1886 part of the parish was assigned to St. Agnes, Birch, by Order in Council, 16 August (London Gazette, 20 August 1886). By Order in Council 7 August 1900 (London Gazette, 14 August) part was assigned to St. Chad's, Ladybarn.In 1911 St. John Chrysostom received a further portion by Order in Council, 4 May (London Gazette, 9 May 1911). St Agnes, Birch, received a further portion in 1929 when part was also assigned to St. Margaret's, Burnage, by Order in Council, 5 November (London Gazette, 8 November 1929). A Bishop's Order, 17 January 1975, (London Gazette, 31 January), allowed the beneficies of St. James, Birch and Holy Innocents, Fallowfield, to be held in plurality. In 1978 the two parishes were united as Birch with Fallowfield by Order in Council, 20 December (London Gazette, 22 December 1978), Holy Innocents becoming the parish church of the united benefice. The church of St. James was made redundant by Order in Council, 17 December 1980 (London Gazette, 29 December), and it was appropriated for residential purposes by Order in Council, 16 December 1981 (London Gazette, 22 December).
Albert Vincent Reade was born in 1864, he was a portrait, landscape and still life painter. He studied at the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and Colarossi's Paris, He exhibited between 1901 and 1933 and lived in Manchester.