Church History

 History of Worsley Road United Reformed Church

In 1861 the owners of a local cotton mill, Gibb and Sons, in Moorside, Swinton, saw the need to give children a basic education and began a Sunday School. This was so popular that in 1862 the Rev. Bubier of Hope Chapel, Salford formed the group into a Congregational Church, having only 16 members at the outset. The project of building a Chapel on the corner of Worsley Road and Houghton Lane began.

Delays due to the cotton famine and American Civil war did not deter this energetic group of people and plans were passed in January 1870 to start building. The foundation stone was laid by John Gibb on 28th May and 5 months later, in November, the Church was opened, with the Rev. Brown of London being the preacher.

As hundreds of houses were built in the surrounding area in the 1920s, arising out of the sale of the Ellesmere Estates, the Church recognised a need for further growth. It was felt that a building, to seat around 400 people, with suitable classrooms was needed.

The Rev Johns in his letter to Church members and friends said: "We must seize the day. We can commence building as soon as we have £2,000 in hand. Already, owing to your energetic service during one year, we have about £700. This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and the glad in it."

The Sunday School building was constructed in 1932 and has ever since been a focal point for community events and activity.

The enthusiasm of that small group in 1870 continues to be present at Worsley Road, always searching how we can best serve God in our local community and move forward to meet the needs of the current time.

The creation of the United Reformed Church in 1972 formally merged the Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Church in England and Wales. One Member of Parliament at the time described this merger as: “one of the most historic measures in the history of the Christian churches in this country.” Following much prayerful discussion, the Church meeting agreed that we should widen our outlook and join with other churches to become a united Reformed Church.

Fast approaching it 150th anniversary the original Church building had suffered numerous attacks of “Dry Rot” and costing an enormous amount of money to repair. The Church meeting enthusiastically set in motion a fund-raising project to demolish and rebuild the original church.

The foundation stone for this new building was laid on the 1st April 2007 by Mrs Joy Adams and Mr William Lomax the building was complete in October of that year and celebrated its opening service on 27th October 2007 with all cost paid for within one year of opening.

In 2012 our 150th Anniversary celebrated that ongoing worship and service to the community. This continues today, as we face new challenges and learn to change and walk with Jesus to meet the needs of Gods World now and in the years to come.

 


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