THE history of Holy Trinity and Christ Church, Stalybridge, as well as its work today, was brought alive during their first ever National Heritage Open Day.
And the success of the event – there were about 170 visitors – has persuaded church officials to make it an annual event.
The Rev Tom Parker said: “We were delighted with the open day, though the weather was appalling. I am sure it kept away some visitors, but also drove others inside.
“We were pleased with the turnout and there was a real buzz about the place. I am sure it will become an annual event.”
English Heritage had encouraged officials at Holy Trinity, a grade II listed building, to hold the open day after they had provided a £250,000 grant towards the £320,000 cost of re-roofing the church. The remainder of the money was raised by parishioners.
Work on that project began in April and was due to be completed by the end of August, but has been delayed until mid-October.
The bulk of the work to the main structure has been done with just the side ailses to be finished.
The open day at the gothic style church looked at features such as the distinctive stained glass, war memorial and featured personal histories of those from the town who went to war as well as displaying church records from when the church was consecrated in 1852.
The side chapel and organ vestry was added to mark the church’s 50th anniversary.
The Rev Parker added: “The aim of the heritage open day was that it was not just dusty history, but about the life of the church today.
“We told of the work of the street pastors who are out on Saturday nights, our involvement with the foodbank and trace the service of the church through the year so that it is real for people today.”
Apart from the displays, there was also a performance by Stalybridge Old Band, reputed to be the oldest in the world, and activities for children.