A short Parish Profile
St. John The Evangelist, Charlesworth (May 2018, edited Nov 2019)
1. CHURCH AND COMMUNITY
The church and adjoining school were built in the mid-19th Century long after the Independent Chapel and Baptist Chapel were established. The church is Grade II listed and in good repair. An area at the back of the church has been cleared of pews for flexible space and community use. In the north transept there is a servery area and WC with plans for upgrading. The church yard was closed in 2016 and is now the responsibility of High Peak Borough Council.
Charlesworth is a traditional Derbyshire village of around 3000 inhabitants including the hamlet of Chisworth and 13 miles east of Manchester with easy access by train. Currently there is one public house, a village club, four shops, a garage, a Rugby Club, a Cricket Club, an Equestrian Centre and a split-site primary school and a nursery. There is also an open recreation field. Charlesworth has a broad mix of housing types that enables a wide range of people to make a home here.
Simmondley is a suburb of Glossop, with a population of around 5000. It is a large housing development, including the small original village, a mile to the east of Charlesworth but partially within both Charlesworth and Dinting Parishes. Many of the occupants commute to work within Greater Manchester. It has a shopping parade including doctor’s surgery, dentist and chemist together with a large Primary School. Active Christians attend churches across Glossopdale.
Gamesley Is an area of predominantly social housing with St John’s daughter church, the Bishop Geoffrey Allan Church and Centre as described in the Gamesley profile.
Patterns of Worship: Our church tradition is Open Evangelical and open to the Holy Spirit. Services are quite varied with a more reflective BCP Holy Communion service at 8 am twice monthly. The main 10 am service comprises Morning Prayer, Holy Communion or ‘All Age Worship’, or a shared service with Gamesley. Our expectation has been that we will have sung worship led by a music group. Children and young people have their own ‘Kidztime’ as part of the 10am service. There are two home groups, one meeting in the afternoon. The other ‘Life-Link’ is an evening group linked to social media and web talks enabling anyone to participate in the study material anywhere, anytime. ‘Saturday Prayer Breakfast’ occurs monthly in church member’s homes.
Church Membership: The combined electoral role for Charlesworth and Gamesley is just over eighty. Currently, usual service attendance at Charlesworth is around 30. All ages attend our services, both men and women, the largest group of which comprises active retired people. A Youth Emmaus Group has been used to preparing some of our youngsters for confirmation.
2. MISSION OPPORTUNITIES
We support the Christian Community Café in Gamesley, RAHOCA (a community HIV/AIDS project in Uganda), Toybox (helping Street children in Guatemala), supported by Kidztime. Other charities receive support as and when the need arises. Church members are active in a number of local and international charities.
Current missional activities include:
1. The Brownies meet in both church and school are very much part of our family
2. A recently established ‘Tea, Toast & Talk’ Group meets in church which provides companionship for people in Charlesworth
3. There is also a Food Bank drop-off in the church, well supported by church members.
4. Monthly ‘Open the Book’ assemblies in Charlesworth Primary School
5. Annual Easter Activity for all of the Primary School, who also come into the school for special services.
6. Carols round the Tree in the centre of the village has become a well attended tradition
7. St. John’s holds an outdoor service at the annual Well Dressing
8. A missional presence at the Annual Carnival
9. A team from St. Johns leads Marriage by design also offered to couples getting married in other churches
10. Families coming for Baptism are welcomed to the service on the day and offered support in their spiritual journey both before and after the service.
11. Unofficial but effective missional activities are the men’s walking group, coffee mornings, all arranged and led by church members but open to all.
We have worked with an external diocesan facilitator extending the work with sessions from local lay leadership to establish a vision and missional projects. This lead to the establishment of the ‘Outreach and Fundraising Action Group’ which has started ‘Tea, Toast and Talk’ and us establishing a missional presence at this year’s carnival. Our young people also wanted to serve by doing a bag packing session in a local supermarket. We welcome the establishment of the Glossopdale Missional Community and see it as an opportunity for collaborative ministry and greater involvement with Glossopdale High School.
3. FINANCE AND THE WAY AHEAD
Regular giving reduced throughout 2017 and into 2018 but plate giving increased and the church faces a challenging time to balance income and expenditure so as to not eat into savings designated for further work on the church including an accessible toilet, redesigned servery area and opening up the chancel worship area by the removal of some front pews
Charity giving has remained at the 2017 level with RAHOCA and Café Jericho being supported by quarterly/monthly donations respectively. We continue to support children’s work through the Toybox donations raised by Kidztime.
In 2017 we paid 92% of the Common Fund requested and 100% for 2018.