Please click on the link above to read this month's magazine.
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 from the original ...
More than 100 years ago ...
May 1905 and Mr Bradley was very much in “pastoral” mode sharing with his flock some thoughts on both Confirmation and his opinions on conversion, especially arising from his visit to a revivalist meeting in London as he reported in the February Messenger. All sound theological musings but lean pickings for us looking back at local events!
There is no doubt that Mr Bradley was often challenged by the active and sincere expressions of Methodism in the area and this would come to a head at times such as this when some twenty young people had recently been confirmed at the service held at Prestbury. Even though twenty was a goodly number it was felt that there were many more who could have come forward, again a reflection of the larger population there was in the parish at the time. Mr Bradley lists some of the reasons against Confirmation that he heard when the subject was broached. “Confirmation was man’s invention”; “an empty profession trusting to dead forms”; “never known a single instance of confirmation having done any good”. Mr Bradley pointed out that “Confirmation is the door to that other life-long help, Holy Communion.”
The other topic stemming from the revivalist meeting was that of conversion and it’s need. He gave as one example St Paul arriving at Ephesus to find certain disciples who he straight away asked “Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?” As one would have expected Mr Bradley as a Church of England minister saw all such things as being fully catered for within the ministry of the church. Looking back it is clear that the cure of souls in the parish was something that the Vicar took very seriously indeed.
Easter having passed and good attendances at services noted it was inevitable that Mr Bradley complained of the drop-off in attendance on following Sundays.
One very sad note was the death of Arthur Brown at 35 years of age leaving a widow and six children.