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Monthly 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 ...

More than 100 years ago ... 

Mr Bradley started the July 1903 Messenger with another of his regular exhortations about church attendance. One point of particular interest is that he mentions there were 130 communicants in the parish. As we have noted before, the local population was much larger than it is nowadays.

Developments at the vicarage were reported - "Two benefits accrued to the Vicarage of late. The one is the allowed use of a new portion of land across the way, for Vicarage gardening purposes – granted, by kind permission of Mr. Close Brooks. The other is the formation of a Water Scheme, to enable water to be laid on to the Vicarage. At present this has all to be carried in buckets from a long distance. The latter scheme is not complete yet and will necessitate the gathering together of some £60. Yet the fund has been inaugurated, and a promising start made."

The Annual Church Choir outing had taken place with 22 people making the trip to Llandudno and Caernarfon. Mr Bradley devoted a full page to reporting the event which was the highlight of the year for many … 

"We stole away in the early grey dawn … and by the time other people were awake we were in far-off Llandudno! What a new world it was to us – a veritable Bay of Naples – white houses clustering down to the sea, blue hills, shimmering ocean, and glorious dazzling sunshine. Breakfast pulled us together: and then we emerged amongst the élite, promenading as gayly as anybody and cutting our dash upon the Pier, the Beach, Great Orme’s Head and the Happy Valley."

The next part of the big adventure was to sail from Llandudno to Caernarfon … "past Puffin Island, with its cloud of sea-birds and its dear little diving gulls, past Snowdon on the left, past Anglesey, into the Menai Straits, under the wonderful tubular bridge, and up to Carnarvon itself." After sailing back to Llandudno they boarded the train heading for Macclesfield.

"Macclesfield was reached about half-past eleven, and then we drove home through the hay-scented mid-night, singing softly to the moon. It was ‘the longest day’ in more than one sense, but it was a happy one for all that, and a day that will live in all our memories."





aster Sunday four services were held, Holy Communion at 8:30 am and 11 am, a Children’s Service at 2:15 pm and Evening Service at 7:30 pm.  As was his practice, Mr Bradley would generously donate his “Easter Offerings” (part of his stipend) to the Organist Fund.


Another notable event in April was the Confirmation Service being held at Alderley Church at which nineteen young people were being presented. Mr Bradley included the usual reminder to book a half day holiday with their employers and urged that the newly confirmed make their first communion at Birtles on Sunday the 26th.


The big social occasion was to be the Parish Dance, held on the Wednesday of Easter Week in the Reading Room. Tickets were two shillings (including free refreshments) and could be bought at the Vicarage. Dancing would take place from 8 pm to 1 am. Proceeds were to be given to the Vicar’s Parish Fund.


The piece on vaccination in a previous month’s Messenger seemed to have borne fruit as some seventy people, chiefly grown-ups, attended Dr Shepard’s vaccination session held in the schoolroom. Mr Bradley commented “Well done! Arms may be sore but hearts are light again”.


An interesting piece was extracts from a letter sent from America by Tom France to a local friend. Mr Bradley comments, “It is a far cry from the gentle poetry of Hare Hill conservatories to the wild life of a “cow puncher” on the American prairie. And yet Tom France took the plunge, and is succeeding and to all appearances is happy.”  Yet there was a twinge of home sickness in the letter where Tom said, “I hope someday to renew old friendships. For sometimes I get sick for a sight of the old country with its green fields and trim hedges. I would love to see the dear little ivy-covered church to-night! You have no idea how a fellow longs to hear the church-service when he is miles away from a church.”



April 1903 and the parish was looking forward to Easter with Easter Sunday falling on April 12th that year. The pattern of services was daily services at 11:30 am each day during Holy Week. On Good Friday, Morning Service at 11 am, a schoolroom service at 3 pm and Evening Service at 7:30 pm. On Easter Sunday four services were held, Holy Communion at 8:30 am and 11 am, a Children’s Service at 2:15 pm and Evening Service at 7:30 pm.  As was his practice, Mr Bradley would generously donate his “Easter Offerings” (part of his stipend) to the Organist Fund.


Another notable event in April was the Confirmation Service being held at Alderley Church at which nineteen young people were being presented. Mr Bradley included the usual reminder to book a half day holiday with their employers and urged that the newly confirmed make their first communion at Birtles on Sunday the 26th.


The big social occasion was to be the Parish Dance, held on the Wednesday of Easter Week in the Reading Room. Tickets were two shillings (including free refreshments) and could be bought at the Vicarage. Dancing would take place from 8 pm to 1 am. Proceeds were to be given to the Vicar’s Parish Fund.


The piece on vaccination in a previous month’s Messenger seemed to have borne fruit as some seventy people, chiefly grown-ups, attended Dr Shepard’s vaccination session held in the schoolroom. Mr Bradley commented “Well done! Arms may be sore but hearts are light again”.


An interesting piece was extracts from a letter sent from America by Tom France to a local friend. Mr Bradley comments, “It is a far cry from the gentle poetry of Hare Hill conservatories to the wild life of a “cow puncher” on the American prairie. And yet Tom France took the plunge, and is succeeding and to all appearances is happy.”  Yet there was a twinge of home sickness in the letter where Tom said, “I hope someday to renew old friendships. For sometimes I get sick for a sight of the old country with its green fields and trim hedges. I would love to see the dear little ivy-covered church to-night! You have no idea how a fellow longs to hear the church-service when he is miles away from a church.”






A New Year and the Messenger for January 1903 was full of national, parish and school news.  Mr Bradley started with a piece about the passing of the years. “But soon the end must come and then it will be but a dream to look back upon. One thing we know and it is this, personal love of God is the only thing which reaches God at last.” We sometimes get these little insights into Mr Bradley’s theological stance and he was certainly not a high churchman.


The recent death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Frederick Temple, was mourned and Mr Bradley spoke of his stature as a churchman and reflected on his difficult early life which was one of poverty as his father, an army officer, died early and at the age of 17 Temple worked as a ploughman to raise some income for the family.


Nearer to home the parish mourned the death of little Robert (Bobby) Foden who had passed away aged 9 years. Mr Bradley mentioned this as he recalled that it was a year since the school had lost Mr Kellett, the schoolmaster. The foundations he had laid were sound and the school continued to flourish under the new master, Mr Condliffe.


The Parish Entertainment was reported as being an outstanding success with a packed house and record receipts of £7 2s 6d.


Likewise the Gymnasium Christmas Dance had been well attended and £3 was handed over once all the expenses had been met. This, plus many individual donations toward the cost of the new heating boiler for the church meant £13 4s. 6d. had been raised “to meet the outlay required for the new boiler, by which our church is made so comfortable and healthy.”


The next big event was to be the Reading Room Dance for which tickets could be bought at the Greyhound for 2/-. People were encouraged to apply early for this popular event. Does anyone know when the Greyhound ceased to be a pub?





A New Year and the Messenger for January 1903 was full of national, parish and school news.  Mr Bradley started with a piece about the passing of the years. “But soon the end must come and then it will be but a dream to look back upon. One thing we know and it is this, personal love of God is the only thing which reaches God at last.” We sometimes get these little insights into Mr Bradley’s theological stance and he was certainly not a high churchman.


The recent death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Frederick Temple, was mourned and Mr Bradley spoke of his stature as a churchman and reflected on his difficult early life which was one of poverty as his father, an army officer, died early and at the age of 17 Temple worked as a ploughman to raise some income for the family.


Nearer to home the parish mourned the death of little Robert (Bobby) Foden who had passed away aged 9 years. Mr Bradley mentioned this as he recalled that it was a year since the school had lost Mr Kellett, the schoolmaster. The foundations he had laid were sound and the school continued to flourish under the new master, Mr Condliffe.


The Parish Entertainment was reported as being an outstanding success with a packed house and record receipts of £7 2s 6d.


Likewise the Gymnasium Christmas Dance had been well attended and £3 was handed over once all the expenses had been met. This, plus many individual donations toward the cost of the new heating boiler for the church meant £13 4s. 6d. had been raised “to meet the outlay required for the new boiler, by which our church is made so comfortable and healthy.”


The next big event was to be the Reading Room Dance for which tickets could be bought at the Greyhound for 2/-. People were encouraged to apply early for this popular event. Does anyone know when the Greyhound ceased to be a pub?


A New Year and the Messenger for January 1903 was full of national, parish and school news.  Mr Bradley started with a piece about the passing of the years. “But soon the end must come and then it will be but a dream to look back upon. One thing we know and it is this, personal love of God is the only thing which reaches God at last.” We sometimes get these little insights into Mr Bradley’s theological stance and he was certainly not a high churchman.


The recent death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Frederick Temple, was mourned and Mr Bradley spoke of his stature as a churchman and reflected on his difficult early life which was one of poverty as his father, an army officer, died early and at the age of 17 Temple worked as a ploughman to raise some income for the family.


Nearer to home the parish mourned the death of little Robert (Bobby) Foden who had passed away aged 9 years. Mr Bradley mentioned this as he recalled that it was a year since the school had lost Mr Kellett, the schoolmaster. The foundations he had laid were sound and the school continued to flourish under the new master, Mr Condliffe.


The Parish Entertainment was reported as being an outstanding success with a packed house and record receipts of £7 2s 6d.


Likewise the Gymnasium Christmas Dance had been well attended and £3 was handed over once all the expenses had been met. This, plus many individual donations toward the cost of the new heating boiler for the church meant £13 4s. 6d. had been raised “to meet the outlay required for the new boiler, by which our church is made so comfortable and healthy.”


The next big event was to be the Reading Room Dance for which tickets could be bought at the Greyhound for 2/-. People were encouraged to apply early for this popular event. Does anyone know when the Greyhound ceased to be a pub?



A New Year and the Messenger for January 1903 was full of national, parish and school news.  Mr Bradley started with a piece about the passing of the ye

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Birtles Lane 

Macclesfield 

Cheshire 

SK10 4RX