Minister Rev Ken Stokes contact
Address Egerton Road North, Whalley Range, M16 0BY
Minister’s Office 0161 861 9283
Hall Office for Community Groups 0161 881 3744
About Manley Park Methodist Church, the Welsh Chapel and extensive grounds
Who are we?
A welcoming, inclusive, multi-cultural church family who worship in the Christian Faith and socialise together. The circuit review in 2018/9 found us to be a ‘Fellowship Church’ and that we are! We also consider ourselves a Community Mission Church (see below)
Our main worship service is on a Sunday morning (see the Preaching Plan below) at 10.30 a.m. but there are evening services at 6.30 p.m. most months (again – see the Plan). Our worship is by tradition Methodist but we are happy when our ministers and lay preachers are flexible. We have a Holy Communion service on the second Sunday morning and fourth Sunday evening taken by our minister, Ken Stokes. Like Methodists everywhere we “sing our faith” and usually use the hymn book of (almost) that name – ‘Singing the Faith’. Other hymn books and sources of hymns are available. Our singing is usually led by our organist, Hilary Curtis, but we also use a digital hymnal, grand piano or downloads as necessary.
We have a screen and are able to project hymns, PowerPoints, photos and images if required. Floor standing microphones, lectern-fixed and throat mics allow easy listening and there is a loop system in place.
We like to be inclusive in our worship. Children are welcome and if they wish can leave for activities led by Hilary Kirby, our experienced teacher, and another adult.
Refreshments, fairly traded, are served in the church after worship.
Each fifth Sunday of the month (so, three times a year) we join 2 other churches – Chorlton Methodist and Wilbraham St Ninians URC – for worship and rotate which church to use.
The church can hold 100 on comfortable chairs (some have arms, some not). The room is carpeted and the gas heating keeps it warm in any weather. A heated lobby allows the door stewards to welcome folk in comfort. An accessible toilet is available off the lobby and there are other toilets including another accessible one off the hall at the back. There is ramp and step access to the front of the church.
Small groups and events
We have a fellowship group that meets alternate Wednesday evenings (Spring, autumn and winter) at different people’s homes. There is bible study, occasional structured programs but always prayer and refreshment.
As well as Ken, who is minister of four churches, we have a dedicated team of five stewards who look at all aspects of the church life, prepare the church for worship and care for the worship leaders. There is a church council of trustees and a finance and property group.
Social and money-raising events
We arrange: meals, envelope collections and soup lunches for various causes and raise money for Christian Aid, Action for Children, work in Haiti, All We Can, a school in Panama and more; regular gardening in our grounds; events at Easter, Christmas and other festivals; two, maybe three, coach trips out in the year.
Community Groups sharing our Premises
Three main community groups use our premises: Whalley Range Community Forum (WRCF), Community on Solid Ground (CSG) and Whalley Range Youth Opportunities (WRYOA). So much varied and brilliant work goes on it can’t be given justice here.
There is an office off the back hall which is also a Hate Crime reporting centre, an issue centre for food vouchers and the administrative base for the Age Friendly City programme. There is much cross fertilisation and help between groups. Some church members attend classes and events put on by the other user groups. The social events and coach trips are usually well patronised by the local community.
Check out the websites:
- Whalley Range Youth Opportunities wryoa.org.uk
WRYOA has three principal strands of activity: WHIZ (Whalley Range Inclusion Zone) is our programme of work for young people aged 11 – 19 years (25yrs wider remit), currently providing a wide range of activities four evenings each week as well as on-going support for young people; JNR8, which is the name by which our base is generally known, but is also our programme of holiday provision for children aged 12 and under; and Celebrate, our annual community festival uniting all sections of the community in a day of fun and creativity. All the projects are focused on working directly with young people and the wider community.
- Community on Solid Ground ysg.org.uk
Community on Solid Ground has its centre in the Welsh Chapel. CSG comprises a dedicated team that is driven to improve the life opportunities, personal development, health and wellbeing of children, young people and community. The team includes experienced and professional individuals with vast knowledge and understanding of the challenges that young people from diverse communities face on a daily basis. We are passionate about ensuring young people are able to develop and achieve their full potential and fulfil some of their dreams and aspirations.
- Whalley Range Community Forum whalleyrange.org
Community events, meetings and festivals, pub quizzes, open mic, classes for little ones, older ones, music nights, litter picks, play activities and opportunities to volunteer and get involved!
The Welsh Chapel was the first building on this site in the 1880s. It was built by itinerant Welsh labour who wanted a place to worship while building the local housing estates. In 1905 a Methodist Church was ‘planted’ in a tin shack nearby and worshipped while raising money for what would be our main building. A side income came from the local farmer who grazed his sheep on the fenced plot. The building was finished for its first service in January 1910.
The congregation reached over 100 and at one time over two hundred might come to the Sunday School. The grounds had allotments and a tennis court. Even though a wartime bomb dropped in the road adjacent the major scares came from dry rot in the floors and walls. In the 1950s and 60s there was much activity with parades and Rose Queens (lots of archive photos show a really different era). In 1955 the Welsh congregation became too few to continue to meet and the church bought the building. At the same time the strip of land adjacent to Clarendon Road (along with the allotments) was sold for housing.
The 1970s saw a change in the make up of the congregation as many families from the Caribbean joined us. A large community youth club was formed reaching 120 on a night … plus sounds systems. Gradually over the last 30 years the community groups became our letting partners and used the hall and ancillary rooms 5 days and evenings a week while the congregation used the premises mainly on Saturdays and Sundays.
At the time of the Centenary celebrations in 2010 the church formed ‘A Vision for the Future’. Refurbishment started, particularly in the Welsh Chapel and major work to the front of the church. A gradual decline in congregation numbers was for a time halted. In 2016 the project ‘Generate our Kitchen’ (see gallery) has formed and a new, exciting plan to re-do the kitchen, adjacent room and outside steps and ramp is due to start soon and complete in summer 2019.
Key: AAW = All Age Worship; B = Baptism; HC = Holy Communion; LA = Local Arrangement; OA = Own Arrangement; P = Parade; US = United Service; WL = Worship Leaders
Click on the icon by each row to show information for all available dates. Click on Column visibility to choose which columns to show / not show.
|Advent Sunday; World AIDS Day||Advent 2||Advent 3||Advent 4||Christmas Day||Christmas 1|
|Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matt 24:36-44||Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matt 3:1-12||Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 146:5-10; James 5:7-10; Matt 11:2-11||Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matt 1:18-25||Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14||Isaiah 63:7-9; Psalm 148; Hebrews 2:10-18; Matt 2:13-23|
|4pm Stokes Carols|
|Manley Park||10:30||Kwarciak B||Stokes HC||Shirley||No service||Stokes||US Chorlton|
|Manley Park||18:30||No service||Wickens||Stokes HC||4pm Smith Carols||No service|
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