A SHORT HISTORY OF ST JOHN THE DIVINE, FURNESS VALE
¨ 100 years ago Furness Vale was situated in four Parishes: Disley, Taxal, New Mills and Glossop – and in two Dioceses: Chester and Southwell!
¨ 1865 – Villagers had long wanted their own church but needed an Endowment to fund its ministry. Only Disley would agree, and due to the patience and generosity of Canon Satterswaite, late Vicar of Disley, and support of the Bishop of Chester and Col. Joddrell, St John’s Mission and School was founded . Permission was given by Mr Saxby to use the barn at Lodge Farm .
¨ 1905 members of the Mission Church began discussions to start the building of a church and a Building Fund was set up.
¨ 1908 – a public meeting was called to agree the building of a ‘tin tabernacle’ but villagers wanted a ‘good stone Church’ . Col. Joddrell provided the site, donating £500.
¨ 1910 Mr Preston’s plans were approved and the contract awarded to Mr J W Swindells, though the architect’s plan for a tower was never realised.
¨ March 23rd 1912 was one of the greatest days in the history of Furness Vale when St John the Divine Church was dedicated. The crowd was so large that only a section could get into the Church. Unfortunately the Bishop of Chester’s train was held up so the service was conducted by the Vicar, Revd H W Haworth, and the sermon preached by the Rural Dean
¨ Many gifts were given to beautify the church or assist worship, including the East Window depicting the Ascension of Christ, St John and St Mary (given by JW Grant), the Choir Stalls (given by pupils of Furness Vale Council School) and the Font (brought from the ‘Mother Church of Disley’)
¨ 1912 – Gladys McCartney was the first child to be baptised. She later attended GFS and became a Sunday School Teacher. Gladys died 4th March 2008 aged 96yrs. Her funeral service was held in St John’s.
¨ 1922 – a new Organ was installed
¨ 1930 – electric lighting was put into the Church
¨ From the earliest days St John’s Sunday School flourished and the Rose Fete was held every year in June. A Rose Queen and sometimes a Rose Bud was chosen to represent the young people of the church. A procession was held from Newtown to Bridgemont returning to St John’s for a Garden Party and the Crowning Ceremony.
¨ 1960’s to 1990’s Yeardsley Players put on plays in the Church Hall
¨ 1989, August 26th– The first Wedding took place at St John’s Church. Alan Jones and Jane Holyoake were married by the Revd Dr Simon Cox.
¨ 1991 – The Church and Hall were re-decorated by volunteers from the Congregation and the Organ was restored. Most of the congregation took part in a ‘Talent Scheme’ to pay for the restoration.
¨ 1992 – Lead was stolen from the Baptistry roof
¨ 1995 – A stained glass window in the Baptistry depicting the Baptism of Jesus was dedicated to the memory of Margaret Jean Farrow, a Girls Friendly Society (GFS) leader for many years. The window, given by the family, bears the GFS Motto. An earlier window depicting a WW1 soldier was vandalised and broken beyond repair.
¨ 2001 – The Remembrance Garden was created for the Burial of Ashes, thanks to a generous donation from Mr James Riddick. The gate is the work of Mr Tim Potts. The memorial seats were donated in memory of Shannon Tolley, Nigel Ford, Stewart Potts and Gavin Sydenham
¨ 2002 – The last service was held at the Methodist Chapel in July and for a while afterwards Methodist services were held at St John’s. The Village Christmas Eve Carol Service , for many years held at the chapel, has been at St John’s ever since.
¨ 2003 – Lightning struck the church shattering the stone cross on the apex of the roof above the East Window
¨ 2006 – One hundred new chairs were bought for the church, a generous gift from Disley Christian Trust
¨ 2011 – A new Royal British Legion standard was dedicated at the Remembrance Day service to mark the Legion’s 90th Anniversary and will be kept at St John’s
” 2012 – The Centenary Celebration Service took place in the presence of Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester – Wednesday 20th June, 7.30pm