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Reflections

Trevor and I started attending Astley Bridge Methodist Theatre Church about 30 years ago. I am afraid we are both ‘interlopers’ being brought up in Anglican churches.

Trevor attended Smithills Chapel and St. Peter’s Church and I attended St Paul’s Church Astley Bridge, where my Dad was organist for many years.

We've together now for 50 years,
And it don't seem a day too much.
There ain't a chapel standing in the land- That I'd have swapped for this dear old church.

How many births and christening folks?
Where are these babies now?
The first one christened lives in Windermere He's got three of his own daughters now.

Judith Whittle, Rose Queen

When I walked into the new Triangle Community Church last week I was completely overwhelmed.

It was amazing to see the beautiful stained glass windows and the light and airy feel of the Church made me gasp. How different the building is in this modern age from the Delph Hill I remember when I was growing up. It was as if someone had taken me through the wardrobe into another world!

I still like to think I am on the younger side of the new Triangle Church but looking back it has still been a very eventful and important few years of my life.

I started at Harvey Street about 19 years ago and as my Grandma had been looking after me on the Saturday night I had gone to church the day after.

Going into the old Delph Hill Church was stepping into decades of use and tradition. To go in by the back door up old worn steps into a dark corridor was slightly forbidding and as one walked passed an open cellar door one was eager to reach the lights switch.

The carpets were a little threadbare, worn by thousands of feet and patched with tape in places.

It’s so difficult to choose a few memories of Delph Hill from so many. My first was when I took my father for the first time after my mother’s death.

He was greeted so warmly by many of his old friends that he was ready to go each Sunday without fail. The church itself felt a firm foundation and a place for contemplation. Later of course, the more I became involved it was a place of action.

How do you summarise a lifetime (over 60 years) spent within the community of Chorley Old Road Methodist Church?

Just looking at the former Church and Sunday School the memories come flooding back and thankfully, as the Church is a listed building, my memories and those of thousands of others will be locked into the very fabric of the buildings for many years to come.

Would I be able to control my emotions bearing in mind this is where mum & dad were in the youth group, got married, Judith & I were christened and dad & I were confirmed on the same day?

Moreover, the actual church hall is where we had the sadness of mum's funeral (15 years ago) and the joy of dad & Sheila's wedding (10 years ago) .

I came to Chorley Old Rd., many years ago at the tender age of 15 when Park Street closed.

I was made very welcome and was soon involved in many activities. I was a Sunday School teacher in The Beginners under the guidance of Ann Nelson (Heather’s mum).

I was christened at Chorley Old Rd. and remember singing in Sunday School.

I remember being in the Cubs and later the Scouts led by John Entwistle then later by Roy Needham reaching the dizzy heights of Assistant Scout Leader.

Eighteen months ago I wrote on the notices that I’d stop being a Doubting Thomas and felt that we would get through the time and eventually get into our new church.

Well, after three long years of fear, hope, worry, optimism and so on, the day has come. We have arrived!!

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