Wednesday, 16 November 2016

At Central Church with a community project and a thank you to the artist Tracey Cartledge

Anyone who knows the Central Church on the corner of Barlow Moor Road and Zetland Road will have spotted the large stained glass window created by Stephen Raw.

And now there is the impressive community mosaic which has taken the place of the entrance beside that big window.

I spotted the notice asking people to get involved on a Facebook site.

It was posted by the artist Tracey Cartledge who runs a mosaic evening class for adults in the church hall on Thursday evenings, which has been running since January 2011.

The church committee commissioned Tracey to design, make and install the mosaic, involving the people of Chorlton in the process.

Advanced students from the evening class worked with Tracey to host seven community workshops.

One student, Karen Nolan, assisted for two weeks in the studio and Andy Carroll & Son Tilers (who also attend the classes) worked with Tracey on site for the installation.

At which point rather than attempt to write about Tracey’s work I shall just leave you to follow the link to her site where there is plenty of information on what she does and those classes she runs.*

Which just leaves me to reflect on the building itself.

And for those who have been around the block a few times this will always be the Macfadyn Church.

Today only the hall remains, the church having been demolished in the 1970s.

It was one of the many churches built in the township as the population grew in the final decades of the 19th century and like those on High Lane and Wilbraham Road did not quite last a century before declining congregations  made amalgamations, rationalizations and eventual demolition the fate of many church groups in Chorlton.

“The Chorlton cum Hardy Congregational church started its life in the Masonic Hall in September 1879 under the joint control of the Chorlton Road and Stretford churches. In June 1881 Chorlton Road, under Rev. J. A. Macfadyen, M.A., D.D., assumed full responsibility. 

A school-chapel was opened for worship in September 1883 and forty seven members enrolled at the new church in December. 

Its first pastor, Rev. Robert Mitchell, was appointed in June 1885. With the death of Dr. Macfadyen, in 1889, the church's connection with Chorlton Rd. came to an end, but in October 1890 a fund was started to build a new church in memory of Dr. Macfadyen, - the Macfadyen Memorial Church, whose opening service was on 25 October 1894.

In October 1972 with the union of the Presbyterian and Congregational churches it became known as Macfadyen United Reformed Church. In October 1975 Macfadyen United Reformed Church and McLaren Baptist Church decided to worship and work together as Chorlton Central Church.”**

All of which just leaves me to add that the mosiac was unveiled by Jeff Smith MP on October 16 to mark Revd Bob Day's retirement.

The accompanying plaque records that it was "designed and made by Tracey Cartledge in collaboration with the people of Chorlton."

And Tracey tells me "that nearly a 100 people form the neighbourhood attended the workshop and helped make the mosiac.*

And that  is just where we started.

Location, Chorlton

Picture; the finished mosaic, 2016, photo by Ian Brewerton (CCC); celebrating the finished community mosaic, 2016, photo by Ian Brewerton (CCC); the church committee visiting the studio, 2016, photo by Ian Brewerton (CCC) and installing the mosaic 2016, photo by Bob Day (CCC)

Tracey Cartledge,

** *The National Archives,

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