On Sunday 12th October Rev. Hilary Howarth conducted the last service at Chorley Old Road Methodist Church – bringing to an end 122 years of Methodist worship and social activity on the site.
Whilst it was a day of memories and reflection for the members of the congregation who had grown up at the church, it was also a day of celebration and optimism as the members of what has been North Bolton Methodist Mission for the past 2 years looked forward to their move to the new Triangle Community Methodist Church which is about to open on the site of the former Delph Hill Methodist Church further up Chorley Old Road.
The new church community is a combination of 4 Methodist Churches, Astley Bridge, Chorley Old Road, Delph Hill and Halliwell, who 5 years ago agree to sell their existing premises and come together under one roof. For the past 2 years they been worshipping together at Chorley Old Road waiting for the new church to be built.
Stuart Whittle, a life-long Chorley Old Road Church member and member of the Steering Group overseeing the building of the New Church commented "Having been christened, brought up, married and had my own children christened here, this place is full of happy and powerful memories which will live with me forever. However, this is not a sad day, it is a day for celebrating what has gone before and looking forward to our exciting new future at the Triangle".
The first service at the new £1.5million Church will be next Sunday, 19th October, with the official opening by the President of the Methodist Conference, Rev. Ken Howcroft, taking place on 2nd November. Both services will take place at 10.30am and there will be an extra ‘Songs of Praise’ service at 6.30pm on 2nd. The official opening will be preceded on Saturday 1st November by an ‘Open Day’ from 10.30am – 2.30pm when visitors will be able to look round the splendid new facilities, sample the new coffee lounge, listed to live music and hear about all the activities the new church will be able to offer to the local community. The Triangle Church’s new slogan is ‘A Place for Everyone’ and everyone is welcome to come to the Open Day, worship, the range of activities that will take place (including the ‘Enjoy Learning’ courses) or just drop in for a coffee.
Rev. Hilary Howarth has just arrived as Minister for the new Triangle Church and couldn’t be more excited by the prospect "I am delighted to join this church at special time. The members have worked exceptionally hard to turn their vision into reality and we now look forward to a bright future serving the community in this area."
Colin Nelson has led the Church’s Project Team and is equally enthusiastic "As we reach this important milestone in our Church’s journey, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to making it happen, from the dedication and commitment of our own members and the wider Methodist community to the architects, Byrom, Clark, Roberts and the builders, H&H Smith Ltd. Everyone has come together and worked with a common purpose to produce a modern, purpose-built building which we can all be proud of."