A fresh start for a unified congregation
AT THE end of this month, Cheadle Methodist Church will celebrate 50 years of worship at its base in Chapel Street.
Ahead of the celebration weekend on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August, the Times and Echo will be taking a look back at the Cheadle Methodist Church and the part it has played in the lives of so many townsfolk over the last half a century.
The building, which opened in August 1967, signalled a new chapter in the history of Methodism in the town.
Cheadle previously had three Methodist churches – the Wesleyan Chapel was on the site where the ‘new’ church now stands, while the Zion Gym in Coronation Street recognises its origin as the Zion United Methodist Chapel.
What is now the Wedgwood Rooms in Charles Street was formerly the premises of the Primitive Methodist Chapel.
All three churches were part of the fabric of town life, with marriages, baptisms, funerals and religious observances taking place as well as congregations getting involved in fund raising activities, community groups and events.
In the early 1930s, changes across Methodism saw congregations unify as one Methodist Fellowship.
The congregations in Cheadle followed suit and in 1962 it was agreed that a new purpose-built place of worship for the unified congregation would be the best option.
The Wesleyan Church in Chapel Street was to be demolished and the other two premises sold to help fund the construction of the new church.
A huge fund raising campaign was launched and when the new building was opened on August 26th 1967, the building was fully paid for.
Elements of the previous churches were included in the design of the new building, including the organ and three bricks – one from each church – which are laid into the floor in front of the communion table.
The unification of the three congregations is also set in stone on the front of the new building.
However, much of the new church was designed to give a fresh start and embrace modern thinking.
Rev David Jones was the Minister who led the installation service which declared the building open as a place of worship.
We are the only family run, independent newspaper and magazine business in Staffordshire, established 1896. We are home to three weekly newspapers – The Cheadle and Tean Times (aka The Stunner), The Uttoxeter Echo and The Leek & Moorlands Echo.
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