|WINSHAM UNITED REFORMED CHURCH 2000AD.
INDEPENDENT 1662. CONGREGATIONAL Mid-1700s-1973. U.R.C. 1973
After August 24th., 1662, any preacher refusing to assent to the 39 Articles of the Book of Common Prayer was to be ejected from their living, deprived of their income and not be permitted to preach to people upon pain of imprisonment. Many hundreds of eminent, pious, learned, faithful ministers of the Gospel were temporarily silenced including the Rev.William Ball, vicar of St.Stephens, who then formed an Independent Congregation in Winsham. It needed a supreme act of faith to leave the Established Church as the tithes, which provided the living, were due at this time. The new congregation included many well known families and they met in houses until after the Toleration Act when the first church building, converted from a house, was used to worship in 1703. A new chapel was built in 1760 when Mr "Orator" Henley, a member of a county family from Leigh, was minister. A larger chapel was needed and in 1810 the present building was erected and the house and garden given by Mr.Huge Trenchard of Maudlin. The Schoolroom was added in 1863. A full list of the ministers serving the church since 1662 would use up the 400 words allotted for this book.
Complete renovations were carried out in the late 1800s and in 1993.
Our church seeks to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the local community and worldwide through its Council For World Mission. CWM is the successor to the London Missionary Society whose most well known missionary was David Livingstone.
Our minister, the Reverend John McMinn M.A., conducts two Sunday services a month, the other Sunday services taken by retired ministers or lay-preachers. After the first Sunday service in the month, coffee and tea are served. The third Sunday includes our monthly Communion Service. Our church has always had an open Communion Table, the only criteria being that those partaking "Should love the Lord". John cares for our congregation and others in tile village by regular visiting at home and in hospital
After the Harvest Festival service, a meal is served and a popular sale of produce held on the Monday evening. Winsham Coronation Band plays for the Annual Service of Lessons and Carols.
A monthly Soup'n Cheese Lunch is held in the Pavilion and occasional concerts are held in the church.
Members of the church play a full part in the life of the village and give service where required. A warm welcome awaits anyone who visits.
Michael Hebditch, Hon.Sec. August 24th. 2000.
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