Saddleworth treasures on show for Heritage Open Days

SOME OF Saddleworth historic treasures will be on show to visitors this month as part of a programme of Heritage Open Days.

greenfield stained glass
DECORATIVE: Stained glass window at St Mary’s Church in Greenfield

The first of a suite of fascinating short guided tours of stained glass windows at four Saddleworth churches takes place on Sunday, September 14.

The tours will be hosted by an expert local guide, Di Terry from Diggle, who studied late Victorian windows and their conservation at the University of Manchester.

She said: “People walk past church windows like its wallpaper. But the early twentieth century produced some of the best stained glass and some of it is on our doorstep.

“I want to encourage people to take time to treasure it and understand how and why it was made.”

She added: “We held a very successful tour last year round and we are hoping for good results this time too.”

The event, sponsored by Ssddleworth Civic Trust and Heritage Open Days, starts in St. Mary’s Church, Greenfield, at 12 noon,  then moves to Greenfield Methodist Church at 12.45pm, Sacred Heart Uppermill at 1.30pm and then to Uppermill Ebenezer Congregational church at 2pm.

Visitors can join the viewing of the windows at any of the four locations.

Meanwhile, in Friezland, Christ Church, which was built in 1850 by George Shaw, will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, September 13, with afternoon tea available, and from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, September 14.

Church records, registers and grave-yard plan will be available to view for free, helping to give an insight to locals about the area and their ancestors.

St Chad’s WW1 memorial plaque

There will also be a host of craft stalls alongside the annual art exhibition, where both professional and amateur local artists can showcase their work for people to view and buy.

The committee is also putting together information about the war memorials in church and the people who died during the two World Wars, who may have relatives still living locally.

Elsewhere, in Uppermill St Chad’s Church will be open on Friday, September 12 and Saturday 13 from 10am to 4pm and then on Sunday 14 from 1pm to 5pm.

At the Grade II listed building – the only church of this grade in Saddleworth – there will be a various displays and demonstrations, as well as children’s activities and refreshments available.

A group of people who have been researching the World War 1 soldiers named on the Memorial Tablet in church will display their interesting findings.

Volunteers will help anyone interested in genealogy to search the parish registers and there will be tours of the bell-ringing room and demonstrations from 2-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The Rushcart banners will be on show and on Sunday from 1-5pm Lynne Edge will be available to answer any questions about the origins of Rush bearing.

And there will also be a guided graveyard tour, with the graves visited different to those last year.

For more information about the stained glass window tours, visit: www.diterry.com or call: 07855 891 788.

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