TRINITY METHODIST & UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
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In Cheadle there were two Methodist Churches (one Primitive, and one Wesleyan), and a Congregational Church. Eden Place Methodist and Massie Street Congregational were old buildings, and both had problems with their structure.
In the early 1970’s Rev Wilfred Tooley, the Methodist minister, and Rev Kenneth Chambers, the Congregational minister were discussing the situation whilst looking after their children at the swimming baths, and it was there that the idea of building a modern joint denominational church in Cheadle was first thought about.
After joint discussions a steering committee was set up and fund raising was organised after a joint meeting at Gatley Congregational Church, when Mr. Gordon Hill was appointed Treasurer of the building fund. When Mr. Charles Penny and Mr. Don Stewart met to look where the members of their two churches lived, they found the centre to be Cheadle High Street.
The Cheadle UDC had earlier promised Eden Place a new site in Cheadle, but this was unsuitable and eventually the joint planning committee agreed to demolish the Congregational Church, and build a new Church on that site.
This committee had many members, some throughout, others brought in for specific purposes. Amongst those serving on it were our ministers, Rev J. Wroe, Messers. F. Hudson, F. Darbyshire, M. Turton, L. Lowell, D. Stewart, A.F. Ward, J. Hough, A. Cox, C. Penney, A.L. Dilks, H.R. Flook, P. Jenkins, J.D. Cheadle, E.C. Masterton, G. Hill, F. Harrow-Bunn, J. Stevens, Dr. A.R. Hunter, Miss A. Lowcock, Miss J. Owens, Mrs. M. Stone.
Many long hours were spent discussing the whole project, the design of the sanctuary, the ancillary rooms required and so on. There were also the legalities of a joint denominational Church, making sure that the wishes of the 3 congregations were, as far as possible, met.
There had to be a Sharing Agreement, and a new Constitution embodying the traditions of the two denominations. This was later brought up to date in 1986, when amongst other things the word ‘Congregational’ was deleted, and ‘United Reformed Church’ inserted.
Eventually the design of the building was agreed, the architect Mr. E.D. Mills, and the builders G. W. Smith Ltd. Were appointed. Other aspects began to fall in to place, and those ‘at the helm’ felt that progress was at last being made. Stockport Road Methodist Church building was sold, the last service being held on 12th December 1971, and their congregation then worshipped at Eden Place.
All eyes then turned to the site in Massie Street as the work started there, and on a glorious day, 10th March 1973 the Foundation Stone was lain. On 16th April 1973 the First Members meeting of Trinity Church was held at Eden Place, when Mr. Don Stewart and Mr. Bryan Jaquiss were elected as the first secretaries, and Mr. Philip Jenkins as the Treasurer – a position he had held at Eden Place.
Yet another glorious day marked the official opening on 30th March 1974 when the new Church was packed for a service at which the preacher was Rev Gordon Wakefield.
Other ministers taking part were Rev Wilfred Tooley, Rev Kenneth Chambers – seeing the results of their idea – Rev Clifford Adams (a previous minister), Rev John Wroe (Methodist Circuit Superintendent), Rev Douglas Stewart (Moderator of NW Province of the URC), Rev J.E. Harrop (Chairman S.E. Manchester URC District). Also present the Architect, the Builder, Mr. A.R. Cannell O.B.E. (Chairman of the Cheshire Congregational Union), and Mr. Tom Normanton our M.P.