St Catherine's


  • Birtles Lane
  • Macclesfield
  • Cheshire
  • SK10 4RX

The Monthly Messenger

Here is the May magazine.

Messenger for May 2024Each 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.

(Please note that copies in the web are redacted to remove personal details. Please see the printed version in church for the complete copy) 

Here are some snippets from the original ...

More than 100 years ago ... 

Mr Bradley was back from the family holiday in good time to write the Messenger for September 1905. As was his usual custom, he listed where he and the Honourable Mrs Bradley had been, this included Wells, Cowley, London, Hertford, Oundle and Folkingham.

There was plenty of other news to report starting with a detailed account of the recent wedding of Lord Stanley to Miss Margaret Evelyn Evans Gordon which had taken place in Sevenoaks. They would have five children including Edward who became the sixth baron and Victoria who was also known as the actress Tordie Woods.

Due to their holiday, the Bradley’s had missed the Choir outing to Shrewsbury and the annual Flower Show, but William Postles had written a report on the day commenting on how busy Shrewsbury was and that the flower show itself was splendid and much enjoyed. William said “The flowers themselves … I had never seen anything like them, the magnificent palms and gorgeous lilies made a picture not easily forgotten.” It was said that the event attracted 70,000. The Birtles contingent eventually got home just after midnight.

Also mentioned and possibly also written by William Postles, was an article in the Macclesfield Courier which reported on an evening picnic outing to the Edge by senior members of the “Over Alderley Choral Society” where, along with selected guests, they gathered amongst the “Druidal stones” and sang suitable pieces in the atmospheric setting.

Turning to matters pastoral Mr Bradley wrote of whilst on holiday being brought face to face with the Sunday-games question, remarking that this was something that many have had to address. He asked that all should reflect on how Sunday should be observed in keeping with the Fourth Commandment. Whilst not advocating “a return to old Puritanical Sabbitarianism” he yearned for “just a little more of the old-fashioned reverence for holy things.”

Cricket! – three matches were reported, Birtles versus Hulme Lads, won. Birtles versus Prestbury, lost (again!) and a match against Macclesfield Congregationalists unable to be finished. These games marked the end of the cricket season