Growing and Going Chapter 6

Trinity Church – Growing and Going

Chapter 6 – 1984 to 1991

From 1984 Trinity continued in a state of survival. Close links with Court Hey Methodist Church helped, with joint services and fellowship at events such as Trinity’s Golden Jubilee open air service and Anniversary tea, and their joint participation in the Christian Celebration at Liverpool’s International Garden Festival. The people of Trinity also went to Anfield Football Stadium on 15th July 1984 to join 35,000 others for the Mission England service with American Evangelist Billy Graham.

Trinitys 50th Anniversary outdoor service. The Salvation Army band can be seen on the left

At the end of 1984 Trinity Girl Guides celebrated their Fiftieth Anniversay, a most memorable event. Sadly, just months later, they said a tearful farewell to their leader Gwen Houghton, who died aged 40 years after a short illness. Gwens death was a blow to both Church and Guides, she was a faithful Church member, organist and prayer leader for many years. Gwen will be remembered by many for the determination she had in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems. Not least was the occasion in 1981 when the ‘great fire’ almost destroyed the Trinity building shortly before the date of the Christmas Fair. Gwen led a small group of guides in setting up a single stall in the blackened church hall when everyone else had abandoned the idea.

January 18th 1985 saw the visit of David Sheppard, the first time an Anglican Bishop had preached at Trinity. The occasion was the week of prayer for Christian Unity and poor David hobbled in with a massive bandage on a broken toe. Little could the people of Trinity have realised the importance of Anglican Bishops and Christian Unity in their future growth, a subject that they looked at on their weekend away at Plas y Coed that September.

It is very difficult to find positive things to say about Trinity over the next four years. Trinity struggled, under constant attack. Reverend Malcolm Creamer recalls the almost continuous bombardment of calls from Police, Fire Brigade and local residents to report break ins, attempted arson and vandelism. It was a nightmare situation. On one occasion Rev. Creamer was called out at 1:30am one Saturday morning following a break in. The police left and he remained alone in the open building with a broken door awaiting any other unwanted visitors, only feeling safe to venture out at 7:30 when daylight came.

Pressure from the Methodist Circuit to close down the church was resisted by the fellowship at Trinity, they at least were full of optimism and prayer. However the strain of maintaining the old Church Hall building proved too great and the decision was made to sell. It was hoped that the Twenty Five Thousand pounds raised by the sale could be used, possibly to buy smaller premises in the area that would be easier to maintain.

In 1988 the local Anglican Vicar, Reverend Symon Beesley, met with Rev. Creamer and a seed was planted, nurtured and grew. The Parish of Roby was large, the Parish Church, Saint Bartholomews, had recently undergone re-ordering and Rev. Beesley was now looking at ways of reaching out a Christian presence into the farthest part of the Parish, the community of Page Moss. He recognised that St. Bartholomews was in a state of growth and he was concerned about how different parts of the parish would benefit from it. He drove around the area praying, asking for guidance about where to build a daughter church. Rev. Beesley had come to the conclusion that a new building was required as it was unrealistic to expect people of all ages and states of fitness to travel over a mile in all weather to attend church. The most logical idea was to build a new church in Jubilee Park on land that was earmarked for development, something that the Methodists were also considering.

Rev. Symon Beesley with wife

The meeting with Rev. Creamer led to the setting up of regular Saturday morning prayer meetings, and from those meetings came the idea of developing closer links between the two churches and using the existing building on Huyton House Road, Trinity. The members of both churches prayed and were very positive. An early morning meeting with the Circuit Superintendent, Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, Michael Henshall Bishop of Warrington, Symon Beesley and Malcolm Creamer at Trinity proved very beneficial. It was agreed that they should raise the idea of a Local Ecumenical Project at Trinity officially with their respective governing bodies and report back, this they did with surprisingly positive results.

Rev. Beesley retired and Reverend Geoff Pearson filled his position at St. Bartholomews. The Trinity Anglican Methodist Project was given encouragement from all sides.