It is claimed that our origins date back to an itinerant Methodist Preacher Hugh Bourne, who visited the Flowery Field area on horseback in the 1820’s. He inspired the villagers to hold religious Services and classes in their cottages.
Their employer, the cotton mill owner, Thomas Ashton (the elder), was impressed with their efforts and in 1830 built "a school for all denominations" at Spring Gardens, to provide educational facilities for his workpeople and their children.
Sunday Services were then held in the Schoolroom. In 1845 Thomas Ashton (the elder) died and was succeeded in the family business by his sons, Samuel and Thomas (the younger). The congregation’s dream of possessing their own Church building with their own Minister began to take shape and in 1870 a deputation called upon Thomas Ashton (the younger) to solicit his help and advice. He sent them away with what must have seemed to them an impossible task; that they raise the sum of £1000 and then report back to him.
The congregation received the news with grim determination and immediately set to work with a will. Within just a few years they returned to Thomas Ashton with the task accomplished. Thomas Ashton promised that if they would hand the sum over to him he would build a Church of which they could be proud. The deputation accepted these conditions gladly and returned to the congregation full of hope and optimism.
Work commenced on the building of the Church in 1876.
Thomas Worthington FRIBA of Manchester was commissioned to be the Architect. The building is in the Perpendicular or Tudor Gothic style of architecture and is cruciform in shape. There is a separate though connected Tower which rises 81 feet above street level. Work was finished towards the end of 1878 and the Opening Ceremony was held on Thursday 19th December 1878.
Following the Opening Service a Soirée was held in the "Flowery Field Educational Institute" better known today as "the School". At this meeting Mr. Ashton handed over the Trust Deeds of the Church to the Church Officers and also returned the sum of £1000 raised by the congregation, on condition that the money be invested and the interest used to augment a Minister’s stipend.
Thus, by this magnificent gesture, Thomas Ashton actually built the Church at his own expense, handing it to the congregation as a sacred trust and responsibility.
MINISTERS WHO HAVE SERVED THE CONGREGATION:
|1864||-1866||Rev. Thomas R. Elliott (With Mottram)|
|1866||-1869||Rev. R.C. Dendy (With Mottram)|
|1869||-1889||Rev. J. Kertain Smith|
|1889||-1896||Rev. Harold Rylett|
|1896||-1904||Rev. W.L Tucker|
|1904||-1909||Rev. W.F. Turland|
|1909||-1948||Rev. John S. Burgess|
|1949||-1955||Rev. William A.M. Hellaby|
|1956||-1968||Rev. Irvin Hodgson|
|1968||-1979||Rev. William.H. Wareing|
|1981||-1986||Rev. Angus M. Parker|
|1986||-1993||Rev. Angus M. McCormick (With Hyde Chapel)|
|1994||-2000||Rev. Alan R. Kennedy (With Hyde Chapel)|
|2005||-||Rev. Eric W. Breeze (With Hyde Chapel)|