Rev. Coles the special guest at church reunion

GOOD FRIENDS: The Rev. Alan Coles with the current minister at Burnley URC, the Rev. Liz Jewitt
GOOD FRIENDS: The Rev. Alan Coles with the current minister at Burnley URC, the Rev. Liz Jewitt

A church reunion saw old friends gather once again from across the country.

The Hollingreave Church reunion marked 200 years since a church first appeared on Bethesda Street.

Now known as Burnley United Reformed Church, 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: “More than 30 people attended the reunion, some of whom came from Bolton, Blackburn, Lancaster and Derby.

“One happened to be in Burnley on a visit from Belgium where he lives. He had read about the event in the Burnley Express.

“Some of those present had not seen each other for 50 years. All said it had been a wonderful occasion. It was full of very happy memories for everyone, for Hollingreave had been a very happy church up to its closure.

“Some wanted another, similar event, hoping that others who could not come, or who we were unable to contact, might be able to attend.

“One of the highlights was the return of the Rev. Alan Coles, now living in Lancaster, who began his ministry in the town. He started the Boys’ Brigade Company at Hollingreave and through this and his ministry inspired and encouraged a number of young people as they considered their future.”