Cartway Church, Churches and Chapels Bridgnorth, Shropshire - England where to go, what to see and where to stay in Wales


Cartway Bridgnorth Shropshire England
The United Reformed and Methodist Church in Cartway dates from the Union in September 1962 of the local Congregational Church and Methodist churches, and was the first Congregational/Methodist Union in the UK. The first independent Congregational church in Bridgnorth of which we have a record was founded in 1662 when Rev. Andrew Tristram MA resigned the living of St Leonard's Church "for conscience sake" as a result of the Corporation Act of 1661 and the Act Of Uniformity of 1662 following the restoration of King Charles II. At the time of the union the Congregational Church was situated halfway down Stoneway Steps in the building which is now the Theatre on the Steps. In part it was the relative inaccessibility of the Stoneway building which determined that the united church should meet in the Methodist building in Cartway. The name "Stoneway" is perpetuated in the name of the minister's house, "Stoneway Manse" in Conduit Lane; ownership of the manse is vested in the United Reformed Church. The church building in Cartway dates from 1853 and was originally built for the Wesleyan society in Bridgnorth. At the re-union of the various Methodist churches in 1933 the Wesleyans were joined by the Primitive Methodists who moved from their building on St Mary's Steps; the old primitive Methodist Chapel is now a private house. By the Deed of Union members of Cartway Church belong to both the Methodist and the United Reformed Churches (the United Reformed Church was formed in 1972 by the union of the Congregational Church, The English Presbyterian Church and the Churches of Christ). In accordance with the constitution ministers are appointed to Cartway alternately by the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church. The United Church is now forty three years old and its members come from United Reformed Church and Methodist backgrounds - indeed, people from several other Christian denominations have also found their home here. It has been served by five Methodist ministers (Revs Colin Nowell, Laurie Churms, Andrew Evans, Sean Michael-Wragg and, currently, Derrick Lander) and three Congregational and United Reformed Church ministers (Revs Eileen Southam, Arthur Kenworthy and Alan Thomasson). On the departure of Rev Lander in 2007 the church will welcome a United Reformed Church minister once more. The church has had a full, if relatively uneventful past. What the future holds is unknown, but this United Church will go forward, confident in God's Power and Grace.
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