Cheadle Hulme’s United Reformed Church (URC) will be celebrating an extra special birthday this June when it turns 150 years young!
I Love Cheadle Hulme met up with church elder Alison Stevens and outreach worker Don Phillips to learn more about what makes our local URC so special – and to find out what’s going on in the community to celebrate this momentous milestone.
A lot has happened in 15 decades, from the church spire coming down to a devastating fire, subsequent demolition of the original church and rebuilding of a modern replacement, but Cheadle Hulme URC has risen like a phoenix from the ashes time after time to continue its mission of fellowship in faith.
The church congregation welcomes anyone and everyone warmly – Cheadle Hulme URC is very much a local resource, enriching the lives of the congregation and the wider community. Run by the people, for the people, Cheadle Hulme URC is a sanctuary in which people can grow in faith and friendship.
As well as coming together regularly for services, the church meets over shared interests and activities, including film nights, the Ladies Circle, the Fellowship Group, mums and toddlers, Soup, Sweet and Meet and the Gardening Club, while the large hall space is also hired out by local groups like dance schools and baby sensory providers, so there’s always something going on.
Christian fellowship – or friendship – extends beyond the church walls to the whole community of Cheadle Hulme and beyond. Committed to social enterprise, Cheadle Hulme URC supports five charities, including the local hospice Francis House, Manchester homeless charity Lifeshare, fair trade organisation Traidcraft, school meals service Mary’s Meals and Suk Jai Orphanage in northern Thailand.
For the past 11 years, the church has been overseen by the Reverend Alan Poolton, who has also served the URC over in Bramhall. Alan is retiring this year and the URC will continue on its mission with a new structure as one of 16 missional partners. Due to join the South Manchester and Cheshire Borders Missional Partnership when it’s commissioned, Cheadle Hulme URC will share four ministers with another 15 local churches and continue to organise services and events autonomously.
It’s a year of change with plenty of projects in the pipeline, including plans to provide more community resources at the church in partnership with local organisations. Earlier this year, Cheadle Hulme URC unveiled its brand new multipurpose space, having transformed the lesser hall into a bright, modern, open-plan area, complete with kitchenette. The space is suitable for a variety of purposes, including a coffee lounge, exhibition area and meeting room.
In the coming weeks, expect to read lots about the festivities Cheadle Hulme URC has planned to celebrate its 150th anniversary, which takes place officially on June 23rd – the same day that Alan is retiring. In the week leading up to and including the 23rd, a whole host of events have been planned:
Cheadle Hulme URC is opening its doors to the whole community, so come and celebrate and bring the family along for fun and friendship! For more information about what’s in store, or to get in touch with the URC, use the links below: