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Built in 1840 as a private chapel to the nearby Birtles Hall, St Catherine's became the parish church for Over Alderley & Birtles in 1890. The parish is a small and scattered community of farms and houses set in rolling Cheshire countryside. The whole area is steeped in history and copper mining took place for many centuries at nearby Alderley Edge. There are intriguing Arthurian legends linked to the Wizard of the Edge.
The church is a brick-built with a stone roof and is a grade 2* listed building, it is located in Birtles Lane opposite the Highlees Wood and is beautifully furnished with old wooden carvings, superb stained glass and has a peaceful atmosphere. Much of the stained glass within the church is mediaeval and can be viewed at www.cvma.ac.uk. St Catherine's has an entry in "England's Thousand Best Churches" (Simon Jenkins) Page 57.
The 2 manual 1909 Peter Conacher pipe organ replaced one built in 1880 and is listed, with details and photographs, at http://npor.org.uk reference N02478.
The octagonal tower holds an octave of bells in the form of a carillon. Although there is no public access, from the top of the tower there is a panoramic view across the Cheshire plain.
The parish is now part of a benefice with our neighbouring church of St. Mary, Alderley, see http://www.stmarysalderley.com/home.htm
The congregation has grown in numbers in recent years and visitors will find the church friendly and welcoming. The style of services is fairly traditional, but not stiff or too formal.
Tea and coffee or soft drinks are served in church after most services and everyone usually stays back for a good natter!
Although the church has no parish hall of it's own, we are able to use the Reading Room, an interesting black and white building at the top of Birtles Lane, just past the former Over Alderley Methodist Church.
Getting to the church is certainly easiest by car, but a Macclesfield to Manchester 'bus service does run along the A537 Chelford Road and stops at the lower end of Birtles Lane. It is then an uphill walk of about three-quarters of a mile to the church.
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