Celebrating 300 years of service.
Hale Chapel, Hale Barns Celebrates Tercentenary in the Graveyard
On the weekend of the 15th and 16th July Hale Chapel celebrated 300 years of worship at the chapel.
In 1722 the dissenting congregation and the Minister Nicholas Waterhouse were ejected from Ringway Chapel. John Crewe, Lord of the manor declared he would restore the chapel of ease to the Established Church after many years of non-conformist occupation.
After worshipping for a while in a local barn, thirteen dissenters bought a piece of land known as ‘Buttsfield’ for £5, and a new building was erected for the congregation.
The new meeting house was registered on 16th July 1723 ‘intended for a place of divine and religious worship’, and a formal opening was conducted in October 1723.
On Saturday 15th July, despite the unpredictable weather the congregation and friends enjoyed a superb traditional afternoon tea with music in a marquee in the chapel grounds. We were treated to a programme of enjoyable summer music by Gershwin and Bernstein arranged by our organist Mr Alan Myerscough.
Miss Isabelle Turner who was christened at the chapel and friends Ms Andrea Murray, Miss Lara Turner and Mr Jeffrey Chang on piano entertained us wonderfully all afternoon.
On Sunday 16th the chapel looked beautiful with flowers arranged by chapel members, Mrs Elizabeth Jones, Mrs Janet Tollit and Mrs Catherine Leavy. The special anniversary service at 3pm was led by our Minister The Reverend Jeffrey Lane Gould.
The Mayor of Trafford Mrs Dolores O’Sullivan attended and local Councillor Mr Dylan Butt. We were pleased to welcome Gisela Schroeder-Fink President of the Unitarian Church of Zehlendorf Berlin who joined us for the weekend and brought gifts and messages of congratulations from her Berlin congregation.
Our sister chapel Dean Row, Wilmslow and representatives from local Unitarian churches, other faith and community groups also attended the service.
The service was a joyous occasion with exquisite music starting with Preludes sung by Mr Oliver Turner and Ms Andrea Murray sang ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’ A beautiful arrangement of C. Gounod/Bach ‘Ave Maria’ was sung by Ms Andrea Murray (Alto) Mr Oliver Turner (Baritone) and Miss Isabelle Turner (Soprano), accompanied by Mr Alan Myerscough.
Members of Hale Chapel, Mrs Elizabeth Wilson, Miss Patricia Head and Mr Alastair Brown our (Chair) contributed readings.
After the service, the congregation and guests enjoyed refreshments in the marquee and two special cakes were cut by our Chair Mr Alastair Brown and Mrs Nancy Houston aged 99y who had travelled from Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire. She had attended the Chapel and Sunday -School as a child, took part in past May Queen celebrations and was married at the chapel.
The special celebratory cakes were made by chapel members Mrs Barbara Waller and Mrs Jo Turner.
It was a very memorable occasion, and our grateful thanks go to all members of Hale Chapel who worked so hard to make the weekend such a great success and enjoyed by all.
A special celebration mug is available designed by Miss Charlotte Turner and an album of photos was compiled to depict the life and events of the chapel 1723-2023.
Hale Chapel Anniversary Mugs are available at £8 each or two for £15.