Burnley church celebrates 200th anniversary

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One of Burnley’s oldest surviving churches is celebrating its 200th anniversary.

Burnley United Reformed Church has existed in various guises on Bethesda Street for two centuries.

It started life as Bethesda Chapel on September 21st, 1814. Over the years some of its members left and established Salem Congregational Church in 1850, Westgate Congregational Church in 1861 and Hollingreave Congregational Church in 1896.

Elder Colin Wills said: “As a result of falling numbers and unsafe buildings many of the members of these three churches returned to their mother church on Bethesda Street.

“As part of our 200 years celebration former members of Hollingreave Congregational Church are having a reunion.

“It will be held on Sunday at 2pm when a former minister of the Hollingreave Church will be returning – the Rev. Alan Coles.

“Alan, who lost his wife only a few weeks ago, initiated the formation of a Boys’ Brigade and a Girls’ Brigade at the church.

“Another former minister, Graham Carling, who sadly will not be attending, assisted the church members find a new spiritual redeveloped home when the church closed.”

Anyone who was a former member of the church and would like to join the reunion is asked to contact Jean Allison on 455566.

More than 30 people have already indicated they will attend.