Saddleworth Churches

Welcome to the Saddleworth Team Website

Thank you for visiting our website we hope it provides you with the information you need.

We are made up of six very individual parishes, but whichever church you might like to visit you will receive a very warm welcome, uplifting thought provoking worship, and a community that genuinely cares about all people.  



2015 will be an historic year, not only for St.Chad’s Saddleworth, but for all Christians living and working within the area.  For those who may still be wondering what we are celebrating it is 800 years of Christian worship on the site of the present Parish Church.  From 1215 St Chad's was the only church in Saddleworth.  In the ensuing years as the Saddleworth villages developed and grew, other Anglican churches were built at Heights (1767), Dobcross (1787), Lydgate (1788), Friezland (1850), Denshaw (1863), Greenfield (1875), Delph (1884) and Scouthead (1889).

At 11am on Sunday 1 March we celebrated the beginning of  our 800th Anniversary celebrations with The Rt. Revd Dr David S Walker, Bishop of Manchester presiding and preaching at our Eucharist. Assisted by Revd Dr Christopher Halliday and many clergy and lay helpers from within the Benefice of Saddleworth, the service was certainly historic. As the Bishop entered marking the sign of the cross with his staff on the threshold Oldham Choir, directed by Dr Eileen Bentley M.B.E. sang, 'I Was Glad' by Charles Hubert Parry. This was followed by the first hymn, 'All people that on earth do dwell'. The cope worn by Bishop David was made by Jo Johnson, liturgical seamstress and Joan Holt and worked by local ladies. The cope has a representation of all 9 Anglican places of worship plus the railway viaduct and other notable landmarks in Saddleworth. During the service Bishop David dedicated the the new Book of Remembrance and  a brass Celtic Cross (placed on the North wall of the church), which marks 800 years of Christian worship on the site of the present Parish Church.

The Bishop's sermon followed, containing memories of his young life spent in Saddleworth and his vision for the future of St Chad Church.

The Oldham Choir, continued with a powerful rendition of, 'Zadok the Priest', which rose up into every corner of the church. The Intercessions were led by the young people from worship centres from across the team and can be read here.

After the Eucharist, the congregation heard the beautiful 'Psalm for St Chad', performed by the combined choirs from around the Benefice and composed by Gail Randall for organ, voices and handbells. In the near future we hope to bring you the full performance.

Psalm for St Chad

Composed specially for the occasion by Gail Randall

God is our shelter and our refuge,

a timely help in trouble.

Psalm 46 v1

How dear is thy dwelling place,

thou Lord of Hosts!

Happy are those who dwell in thy house;

they never cease from praising thee.

Psalm 84 v1,vs 3-4

Lord, thou hast been our refuge,

from generation to generation.

Psalm 90 v1

So come to him, our living Stone-

the stone rejected by men

but choice and precious in the sight of God.

Come and let yourselves be built as living stones,

into a holy spiritual temple.

1 Peter 2 vs 4-5

New English Bible


The Bishop ended the service with a blessing and dismissal.

The afteroon ended with a Jacob's Join luncheon at the former St Paul's Church, Scouthead, now the 'Talking Point' Conference Centre.


The Patron Saint – St.Chad, was made Bishop of Mercia and he chose Lichfield as his Episcopal base, therefore a PILGRIMAGE TO LICHFIELD has been organised over several dates during the Spring/Summer of 2015, ending with a Service in Lichfield Cathedral on 19th September.        


Another lasting memorial planned is the NEW HISTORY OF SADDLEWORTH CHURCH.  A.J.Howcroft wrote a history in 1915  – Chapelry and Church of Saddleworth -  to commemorate the 700th Anniversary but in the intervening years so much more information is readily accessible via the internet and digitised newspapers. Historian and Lecturer, Alan Petford was in the process of writing this book but due to his untimely death on 11 February, Mike Buckley, who has collaborated with Alan on numerous publications, will take on the work. The book will be published in due course and dedicated to Alan's memory.

The late Alan Petford

The late Alan Petford

Other events through the Anniversary year...

...include a music concert in church, a family fun day, special services, and even a new ale, 'St Chad's Bitter', brewed by Julian, is now on sale at the Church Inn.

This is just a flavour and fuller details of all that there is in store will be released when more information is available.

There is a lot to do and if you would like to be involved in the planning of the events, even in a small way, please contact the following 800th Committee members.  Tracy Waller (874770), Lily Hopkinson (873745) and Barbara Hodgson (870185).