SADDLEWORTH ST Chad’s ‘Seeing is Believing project’ got off to an eye-catching start last month as they look to raise more than £300,000 for repairs to the church.
The money will go towards replacing the impressive stained glass windows of the Grade 2* listed building above Uppermill, as well as work on the roof and tower.
A special service was held to officially launch the project, attended by around 50 locals and special guests the Mayor of Oldham Derek Heffernan, Saddleworth Parish Council chairman Cllr Pam Byrne and Bishop of Middleton Mark Davies.
Rev Canon Sharon Jones, Saddleworth Team Rector, told the congregation: “This is a pivotal moment in the life of the church here at St Chad’s.
“It is a move from looking to the past – which is important for knowing who we are – to a vision for the future.
“It is more than an old building and times gone by. It represents a visible presence of God in our community.
“This restoration and development proclaims afresh his love and is a renewal of our faith.”
Bishop Mark added: “Our buildings proclaim in the very heart of each community that each has a place for God. Think of all the generations who have passed through here.
“Now we need to look to the future and that those who come after us and think what will we hand over to them?”
The church has been on the current site for 800 and was rebuilt in 1830-33 with many of the internal features crafted by Uppermill architect George Shaw.
The service included presentations about the history of stained glass and a closer look at the church’s Great East Window, which depicts Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’.
Helen Lennie explained an architect and quantitative surveyor have been appointed to the project, which aims to restore and develop the church for this and future generations.
She said: “Iron rods within the stonework of the windows are corroded, causing cracking and bowing of the stained glass too.
“There are a lot of significant issues but we want to see it as something positive and turn it into a development programme for the future.”
Young people of the parish have also been getting involved in the project through a challenge to create a logo design for the campaign.
Out of 61 impressive entries the winner was Rosie Giblin (St Chad’s), with second prize awarded to Jack Hilton (St Chad’s) and joint third to Eve Russell (Diggle School) and Eva Burke (St Chad’s).
Rev Canon Sharon Jones, who presented the winners with Waterstones vouchers, said: “The winning logo design by Rosie beautifully captures the hills, canal and beauty of our area and the centrality of God’s love for everyone.”
At the launch service, Rosie was presented with the a specially-made canvas bag bearing her logo – the first of merchandise created to raise funds for the project.
Do you want to support the restoration and development project at St Chad’s?
Come along to a coffee morning on the third Saturday of each month from 10am-11.30am at St Chad’s Parish Centre, Station Road, Uppermill.
Or enjoy a Springtime Afternoon Tea on Saturday, April 29 from 2-4pm at St Chad’s Parish Centre, Station Road, Uppermill.
There is also a Family Concert series on Saturday, May 20 from 2.30-3.30pm at St Chad’s Church then an Open Gardens Weekend on 15-16th July. More details to follow.
For more details contact Liz Rooke: 07980 419172.