Uniting of 3 Churches

Altrincham United Reformed Church

"The uniting of three Churches"
 
The origins of the coming together of three United Reformed Churches in the Altrincham area start in the mid 1990's. The Minister & Elders of Trinity Bowdon United Reformed Church formed a small Group, charged with the task of "Looking towards 2000 & beyond" The Group, led by the then Church Secretary, Hope Mitchell, were given the brief of trying to see how Trinity Bowdon URC and the wider URC Church, both locally and nationally might evolve over the next five to ten years. The challenges to be faced, the opportunities, and the tasks to be done.
 
A number of ideas and decisions were implemented. Leading in 2003 to the Elders of Trinity Bowdon holding their first "Away Day" at Lymm URC. Much of the time was devoted to looking at how the United Reformed Church in the Altrincham area could best perform its mission How the Church could utilise its resources and create a strategy for a strong and vibrant future for Mission in Altrincham and the wider world. As a result the Minister and Elders agreed that the Revd David Westhead should approach to his two local Colleagues to discuss union of the three Churches.
 
The three Ministers of the local United Reformed Churches, the Revd David Batchelor, Hale URC, the Revd David Westhead, Trinity Bowdon, and the Revd Chris Vermeulen, Woodlands, met and considered this initiative. Then in October 2003 representatives of the three Churches involved met at Woodlands URC to delve more deeply into these thoughts and ideas. With the result that the representatives proposed to the Elders and Members of the Congregations of each Church that further discussions should take place with a view to forming a union to create one Church. This was approved at Church meetings held at all three Churches in December 2003.
 
Later in that same month the Ministers and Representatives of the three Churches met and inaugurated a Strategy Group, which would meet each month to plan the union of the three Churches and to make proposals to the Congregations of the three Churches regarding the formation of the new Church. A prime decision was made that what would become Altrincham United Reformed Church would worship and use two buildings, Hale, (now Trinity Hale) and Woodlands, (now Woodlands Timperley). A recommendation was made to the Members of Trinity Bowdon URC that Worship at Trinity Bowdon, as part of the United Reformed Church would draw to a close. The Members of Trinity Bowdon being encouraged to worship at the soon to be Trinity Hale. A special Service inaugurating the new pastorate of Altrincham United Reformed Church was held at Trinity Bowdon in October 2004.
 
Work on the coming together of the Churches continued culminating in a Valedictory Service of Thanksgiving for the three Churches and dedicating the New Altrincham United Reformed Church was held at Trinity Bowdon November 6th 2005. This marked the end of worship at Trinity Bowdon after 138 years, but also the beginning of a new Church, Altrincham United Reformed Church. The first united Service of the new Church was held at Trinity Hale on November 13th 2005. The following Saturday November 19th the Ministers of the new Pastorate, the Revd David Westhead, and the Revd Brian Jolly were inducted.


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