Saddleworth Church poster appeal launched
Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 11 March 2019
St Chad's Church, Uppermill
St Chads Church, Uppermill, needs extensive and urgent repairs to its roof, ceiling, tower and to restoration of its valuable stained-glass windows.
The results of a questionnaire by The Parochial Church Council to all people living within the parish, gave a clear indication that, in addition for worship, people would be interested in the Church being used for art exhibitions, music and performing arts, heritage skills, oral history of the Church, educational visits and access to archives.
The church is applying for financial help from national fund-giving organisations but now they are issuing an invitation (see notice attached) to support the public consultation.
“ We would be delighted to welcome everyone at our public meeting at St Chads church on Tuesday, March 26 at 7.30pm for the public consultation to Save Saddleworth church,” said a spokesperson.
Rev Canon Sharon Jones has already shocked the community when she announced the grade two listed church could close within 10 years unless £1million can be raised by locals.
Now, urging villagers to attend a crisis meeting, The Saddleworth Team Rector is drawing on the church’s distinguished ancient past to promote the vision for the church’s future within the community.
She said: “We are now ready to begin a new chapter of our life in the community. The building crisis is a focus for doing something radical and creative.
“And as part of the ‘Seeing is Believing’ restoration project, there is also a desire to reorder the internals of the building by replacing the pews with chairs and to reimagine the church for a different world.
“ We are very conscious of the realities of life for many in the community, St Chads wishes to partner with business in the creation of ‘The Pilgrims Rest’ coffee shop within the grade two listed church building.”
And she promised: “The church would provide a safe space for the lonely and the vulnerable.
“It will to be a place where young people can meet friends and be supported through the challenges of mental health. We would to partner with healthcare professions in providing a listening space.
“And, while retaining its heart as a spiritual home and primarily a place of worship, St Chads dreams of a building fit for exhibitions, concerts and educational visits for children from across Oldham.
“ It a resting place for walkers, cyclists, and the many tourists and heritage hunters who come to St Chads for its beauty and history.”
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