5th March 2023
Fifty years ago, we stood in the congregation and watched the procession of Bishops, Ministers, other dignitaries, our own minister, Br Tom McQuillan who, with the men who had worked on the building of the church, processed down the aisle and I remember thinking what a wonderful achievement they had seen to the end.
How wrong I was, this was not the end, just the end of the beginning. Since the opening of the church on 3rd March 1973, we have not stood still. Guides and Scout groups were started, a Mums and Tots Group, Messy Church, Youth Club came into being and in recent years our Food Hamper Outreach Programme and our Dementia Warriors Café have found a home.
Through the years, the pews have been replaced by chairs, thus making the church building more able to cope with the various demands asked of it. Our windows have all been double-glazed, the heating system upgraded with solar panels installed and disability access has been provided. A church garden was made at the side of the church and this is an ideal space for our Summer Fayres which are held in July of each year. The garden is also much appreciated by the youth of the church.
The Anniversary Service was attended by over 70 people – our brothers and sisters old and new. The service started by looking back at the work carried out all those years ago and then our thoughts were concentrated on the present and future. Awards were presented to some of the children who regularly collect money for our Mission Fields and a talk centred around the fact that the church needs people of different abilities to carry on the work. We need people to teach, people to listen, people to wash up, people to run the groups that happen on a weekly basis. Everyone’s abilities are utilised.
We then saw people standing up to say just what the church means to them. Several Dementia Warriors guests gave their opinions, people who had been members since the days of the farm house and those who had only joined comparatively recently all said how important this church family was to them.
A lunch of Potato Pie with all the trimmings was served. We cut our anniversary cake and finished off the day with a service of Holy Communion.
All in all, a wonderful day, full of fellowship, love, joy and a few tears as people looked back.
We are grateful to the Tameside Reporter for permission to use the photographs on this page.