Booming Wigan church needs a bigger home

At a time when most churches around the country are seeing congregations dwindling, one in Wigan is proving so successful that it needs bigger premises.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 3:24 pm

And Pastor Christopher Iteman is hoping that his prayers will be answered and that his flock from the Redeemed Christian Church of Good can soon decamp to the now vacant former Trinity Methodist Church in Pemberton.

Nothing is set in stone yet, though, and there are concerns that things could get rather crowded and thus unhealthy in this Covid era when more and more worshippers return for services.

Trinity closed in 2018 and no sooner had it done so than Pastor Christopher had registered an interest.

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Pastor Christopher at the former Worsley Mesnes Methodist Church which his congregation has outgrown

But these processes can take a long time, especially when a pandemic intercedes and while the local Methodists would like to see their former premises continue to be a church, several other interested parties have since come forward and the deadline for bidders only comes at the end of this week.

Pastor Iteman said: “We are hoping against hope that we can make Trinity our new home.

“During lockdown, accommodation wasn’t an issue because everyone was on

Zoom.

Redeemed Christian Church of Good has its eye on the former Trinity Methodist Church in Pemberton - but there are bidding rivals

“But since then the Methodist Church has been kind enough to give us the use of the former Worsley Mesnes Methodist Church.

“But as people return for ‘live’ worship, it is simply not going to be big enough.

“At full strength our congregation would number more than 140.

“We have submitted an application, we have the money loaned by Barclay’s and it is backed up by bank statements.

“We want to modernise the place and while it would remain a church it would also be a community centre from which everyone can benefit.”

Rev Shaun Swithenbank, superintendent minister of the Wigan Methodist Circuit, said: “If I had my way I would be very happy to see Trinity remain as a church and for Pastor Chris and his congregation to move in.

“But it isn’t up to me and we don’t own the building - the national Methodist Church does.

“We have four or five other bidders so far and everything has to be done by the book, in accordance with Charity Commission laws, and ultimately the decision will be the national church’s.”

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