A church on the estate we can call our own
10 July 2018 IN: Parish News
Oldhams Church is a small church plant from St Pauls’ Church, Astley Bridge set up by Pioneer Curate, The Revd Ben Woodfield, in 2016 to serve the people living on the Oldhams Estate in Bolton.
Working with the vicar of St Paul’s, Revd Nick McKee, to establish the new church, it now attracts 50-60 worshippers at the Barlow Park Community Centre next to Smithills Farm.
Worship is informal and often includes testimonies from people whose lives have been enriched and changed by their new-found faith and the support of the church.
Revd Ben Woodfield said, “People felt the Oldhams Estate needed a church presence of its own. We gathered a core group together and began to pray and get to know each other. We started our Sunday service in the afternoon in the community centre. It’s fragile, fresh, informal and chaotic at times, but we believe God is doing important work here and we’re getting involved with what He’s doing.”
Toni Marie, a resident of the Estate for 23 years, said, “When I grew up here we didn’t have a church of our own and the nearest church was quite far away and wasn’t really my choice of church. I’m so thrilled that we now have our own church on the estate and a community, somewhere to pray, thank God and have a relationship with him.”