growing closer to God

working together, serving our community in Christ's name

About us

Worshipping
Caring
Community
Learning
A United Reformed Church
History

Worshipping

 

WSN InsideWe meet for worship at 10:45am every Sunday. The normal service includes singing, Bible reading, prayer, teaching, and often an item specifically for the younger people. The children leave during the service to continue with the theme. There is someone to care for the very young ones.

Once a month we celebrate Holy Communion, and the older children join in.

The Church is open for prayer each Thursday from 10am to 12noon.

We can also arrange services of thanksgiving for the birth of a child, and where appropriate, we offer the sacrament of baptism.

Wedding and funeral services can also be arranged.

Caring

WSN InsideThe Minister and Elders care for members of the church community through a pastoral care scheme.

We share with Chorlton Good Neighbours in the Tuesday Group, a project for parents facing stress in caring for young children.

We are committed to use our money, time and our voices to reduce worldwide poverty and inequality. We collect for Christian Aid and provide an outlet for Traidcraft goods, and campaign for fair rules for world trade.

Community

WSN InsideThe building is on one level, with ramps at the main doors to allow easy access.

The church has amplification and an induction loop to assist the hard of hearing.

The Managers try to ensure that the premises retain a good appearance and are kept in repair.

We provide an office and venue for the varied activities of Chorlton Good Neighbours. A range of community groups use the premises.

Learning

WSN InsideWe believe that a Reformed church should always be reforming and looking for new ways in which God is revealed. We learn from each other by sharing fellowship and studying the Bible together.

We learn from other branches of Christ's Church, through Churches Together in Chorlton and developing services and activities with the local Methodist Churches.

We respect tradition but are not bound by it. We have no hierarchical orders of ministry, and our parent Congregational and Presbyterian denominations have had women ministers from early in the twentieth century.

A United Reformed Church

White Blue URC Logo 200The United Reformed Church is part of the world wide family of Reformed Churches, with more than 70 million members across the world. It has its roots in the Reformation, emphasising the importance of the Bible and the collective responsibility of its members.

The Church was formed in 1972 when the Congregational Church in England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England united.

The United Reformed Church is linked to the wider church through Churches Together in England, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Council for World Mission.

History

Wilbraham St Ninian's started life as a congregation within the Presbyterian Church of England when, after initially meeting in the Masonic Hall in Chorlton from 1903 onwards, the foundation stone on the old church building at the present site (now the Old Hall) was laid in September 1907 and the congregation of the Chorlton-cum-Hardy Presbyterian Church moved to its new home in March 1908.

The church continued to grow in the early decades of the 20th century and to create a strong and vibrant identity for itself within the Presbyterian tradition and among the many Manchester residents who had been brought up as Presbyterian by virtue of Scottish family connections.

During the Second World War, the nearby Whalley Range Presbyterian Church was severely damaged by bombing in December 1940, and by July 1941 it had been agreed that the Whalley Range and Chorlton churches would amalgamate on the Chorlton site under the name of St Ninian's Presbyterian Church.

Over time, the need for more accommodation became apparent and this, coupled with a significant amount of War Damage compensation received from the government for the damage to the Whalley Range church, led to a decision in 1949 to build a new church, adjacent and connected to the existing building.

The new church opened for worship in November 1951 having been constructed at a cost of £14,198 by William Thorpe to the plans drawn up by architect T. Reive.

The crowning glories of the beautiful new building were the three stained glass windows which were installed in the south wall of the sanctuary by the highly reputed artist-craftsman Francis Spear.

It seems there was a debate whether the theme of the windows should be Easter Morning or Moses and the Burning Bush, but the Easter Morning theme was finally chosen.

In 1955, pressure on space for the various church organisations became evident once again, and the intention to build a manse on the site was abandoned in favour of constructing a new hall (still known as the New Hall) with a substantial kitchen area, at a cost of £5000.

In 1972 the Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Church in England and Wales came together to form a single denomination, the United Reformed Church.

As a result St Ninian's Presbyterian Church became St Ninian's United Reformed Church.

By 1978 the Elders of the Wilbraham Road (formerly Congregational) United Reformed Church and St Ninian's (formerly Presbyterian) United Reformed Church reached the conclusion that amalgamation of the two churches was the best survival plan for the two congregations which were geographically quite close to each other.

The decision to amalgamate was finally taken in 1985 when extensive dry rot was found at the Wilbraham Road church, and so St Ninians United Reformed Church became Wilbraham Saint Ninian's United Reformed Church - the name by which it is known today.

The present complex of buildings - the church,the Old Hall,the New Hall with its extensive kitchen facilities,and a range of smaller offices and meeting rooms - serves the community of Chorlton as a busy and popular venue for all kinds of activities virtually every day of the week, every week of the year.

But at its heart is a worshipping Christian community with a proud heritage, a distinguished history, and a vision of the Good News of Jesus, which have all resulted in the love and respect in which Wilbraham St Ninian's is held by all who are associated with it.

Chorlton-cum-Hardy Presbyterian Church 1904 - 1941
St Ninian's Presbyterian Church 1941 - 1972
St Ninian's United Reformed Church 1972 - 1985
Wilbraham St Ninian's United Reformed Church 1985 - present

With acknowledgment to "A distinct place in the community:
the story of a Presbyterian church" by Roger Tomes (2004)

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