My church was Gill Street and we were prepared during earlier months for our amalgamation with Ashley Lane, Streetfold and Lightbowne churches.
Our minister was Rev. Philip S. Moore and he had the task of bringing us together. It was decided that we would use the large premises of the Ashley Lane building temporarily whilst the Streetfold site was re-organised.
The move to Ashley Lane was difficult for many who had been leaders for a long time and did not really want to give up their jobs.
Each church had a Sunday School, Fellowship Groups, Scouts, Guides, Boys Brigade etc, all of which had to be re-organised.
This was the time Family Worship was introduced with a move to only morning Sunday School, whereas previously there had been morning and afternoon school. Some teachers and leaders had to stand down, not easy decisions to take. I was blessed as Flo Mycock, Streetfold’s primary leader stood down for me.
Many headaches for the minister but bit by bit we came together.
Roger Hughes, Ashley Lane, became Senior Steward and he was joined by Donald Cornthwaite, Streetfold and Leo Harrington,Gill Street. In those days most of the stewards were married men and their wives took on many duties, like catering occasions and Harvest organizing. The first Harvest was amazing, each church had lists of those who were sick or housebound and more than 200 parcels were made on the Monday morning and later in the day more ladies and some men came to help deliver them.
During our time at Ashley Lane we had a Mission led by the Cliff College Trekkers – a group of young men who slept on the hall floor for a week and the ladies of the church fed them. The Trekers went far and wide with their handcart spreading the Gospel. The children loved them and each evening children and adults met at an evening gathering. On the final Saturday everyone marched up to the new Moston Methodist Church where tea was ready for all, prepared by Chris Cornthwaite who had charge of the kitchen, and her helpers.
The new church was full with chairs down each aisle, so many adults and children. The Sunday School had Beginners (3 – 5 years) Primary (5 – 7 years) Junior (7 – 11 years) Senior( 11 – 16 years) and Young People’s departments. There was also a crèche for under three’s. There was nowhere for the Young People to meet so a member of the congregation, Jenny, who lived in the side street, gave us her key so that we could use her front room whilst she was in church. Leo was the Young People’s leader.
There were so many active Christians and soon many groups were formed.
We were blessed with Rev. Phillip Moore. It was not an easy job and sometimes he was sad with the attitudes of some difficult people. But he brought us through and we thank our Lord that with prayer and faith the amalgamation came happily through.