Each month we produce a magazine, "The Over Alderley and Birtles Monthly Messsenger", this being the title used for the first parish magazine produced from 1892 to 1908 by the second Vicar of Birtles, The Revd Henry Waldron Bradley.
Here are some snippets ...
More than 100 years ago ...
December 1902 and again it was news of the forthcoming Parish Entertainment that was given prominence in the Messenger. The full programme was printed and this would consist of two parts the first being mainly musical items. Mr Bradley himself was to sing the song “Fair Lass of Richmond Hill” and Miss Brooks would play a violin solo. Many other parishioners were to take part including the Reading Room Choir – the first time we have mention of such a group. The second part of the evening was to be a short farce, “The Wrong Box”, with members of the Massey, Read, Postles, Newton and Lomas families taking part. Tickets cost 6d or 1/- for a reserved front chair. Performers were admitted half price. There was no mention of refreshments which were usually a highlight of such events.
Turning to church matters, the Vicar’s Tuesday night devotional meetings held in the school continued to be well attended. This event was started following the successful visit of the Church Army team in previous months and Capt. Betts was to return and address one of the evenings in December.
One item of interest was “A new stove and boiler have had to be placed in Birtles Church; and the heating apparatus is now in good working order once more. The cost is over £12, toward which the Vicar and Churchwardens would gladly accept any small contributions”.
Christmas Day fell on the Thursday that year and there was to be an 11 am Service of Holy Communion, Sermon and a Christmas Anthem. The practice of having choir anthems at Christmas, Easter and Harvest Festival continued at St Catherine’s up to the latter end of the twentieth century.
The Birtles Christmas Dance was once again to be held in the Birtles Hall Gymnasium. The numbers were to be restricted to 100 and tickets could be bought at the Vicarage for two shillings with proceeds going to the Parish Fund.