St Chad Saddleworth - Parish Church - 'Seeing is Believing'
Saddleworth St Chad Church
There has been a church dedicated to St Chad on the current site for 800 years. The present church was built in 1830-3 with the tower re-built 1846-7. Many of the internal features were crafted by the architect George Shaw of Uppermill including the reredos, choir stalls, lectern, pulpit and font cover. The interior is greatly enhanced by many beautiful stained glass windows, most of which were designed and made in Uppermill. The Great East Window contains a compelling depiction of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ and there is also a fine example of the work of the Flemish stained glass painter JB Capronnier depicting ‘The Adoration of the Magi’. The church’s unique heritage is reflected in its Grade 2* listing on the National Heritage List for England; only 6% of all listed buildings are awarded this special grade.
The Church in the Community
During our 800th anniversary year, worshippers, visitors and the local community were asked to consider the next 800 years of St Chad’s Church. Responses recognised the important role the church has played in the Saddleworth community over 800 years and still continues to do so today as a place where significant moments in people’s lives are marked; where children and adults celebrate services and events throughout the year; a place from which people support the needs of others through giving both in this country and abroad. The responses also made clear that St Chad’s is loved and cherished and people wanted it to grow further, developing a wider welcome for the future.
Restoration and Development of St Chad’s Church
In 2015-16, Saddleworth St Chad celebrated 800 years of continuous worship on the current site. As part of the special anniversary, church members began plans to improve and develop the church building to ensure that St Chad’s is a special place to visit, worship and treasure for many years to come. Plans include creating greater accessibility, a wider welcome for the community and more opportunities to offer arts and educational activities for all ages.
Unfortunately, during 2016, we were shocked to learn that in addition to the planned works, we needed to find hundreds of thousands of pounds to repair and restore the beautiful stained glass windows. Following a recent, detailed survey of the church, it has become apparent that, in addition to the windows, extensive work is also required to repair the roof and tower.
Seeing is Believing
St Chad’s Church Development Group is leading on the task of securing resources and expertise to deliver a restoration and development project called Seeing is Believing. Securing funds for this major project to preserve our special heritage and develop St Chad’s, will require support from the wider community and a significant amount of money to be raised through grant applications and a fundraising campaign.