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History of Methodism in Prestbury  

'What shall our greeting be, sign of our unity? Jesus is Lord!
May we no more defend barriers he died to end
Give me your hand my friend One Church, One Lord!'

 

Great words from a hymn that was written by Fred Pratt Green in the last century, a Methodist Minister and great hymn writer of his day.  The words invite the Christian communities to remember we are one church, even with different places of worship available to the individuals at that time, as there still are today.
 
For the people of Prestbury, we celebrate 800 years of Christian presence in 2020, with a timeline of both Anglican and Methodist worshippers gathering, building chapels and churches and finding their place, as Christians, in this most picturesque part of Cheshire.  Here is a snippet of our part in the story, which began just a little over 200 years ago….
 
There is no record of John Wesley visiting Prestbury but we do know he visited Macclesfield and the surrounding area on many occasions and there were many Methodist chapels built in the Macclesfield area. Interestingly the Anglican story here began in Prestbury and later extended to Macclesfield and it was the opposite way for the Methodists.
 
It is likely that Methodism arrived in Prestbury some time before the first chapel was built in Bollin Grove in 1815. The usual pattern was for a group of Methodists to meet in people's homes, barns or out in the open air until they had become large enough to fund the building of a chapel. Services were timed to meet the needs of the farming community.  How welcomed the Methodists were in those days is an interesting question we will consider in later articles, as we learn more about how the Christian presence developed in Prestbury year on year. The early years were probably not as united as we are today.
 
In his book 'Methodism in Macclesfield', Rev Benjamin Smith describes (rather disparagingly) a carnival type event happening in the village each Easter Sunday and the Methodists dressing up for church: 'At the time the Methodist chapel was built in the village, and for some years afterwards, it was regarded by the mill-hands of the neighbourhood as the height of fashion to appear at Prestbury on Easter Sunday, in a blue coat set off with brass buttons, in white trousers, and a showy waistcoat of gay pattern according to fancy. The women and girls, too, dressed in colours as bright as possible. Prestbury is not yet, alas, distinguished by vital godliness, but there is certainly a marked improvement in externals.“ [Methodism in Macclesfield”, by Benjamin Smith,  Hayman Brothers and Lilly, Cross Street, Hatton Garden, 1875,  p.296]
 
Over the last 200+ years Methodism in Prestbury has grown up alongside our brothers and sisters in St Peter's Church. Now based on Macclesfield Road in our new building of nearly 20 years old, we continue to believe 'the world is our parish' (J Wesley) and we are all part of the 'one church with one Lord'. May we celebrate the Christian presence that has underpinned this community for the last 800 years and look forward in anticipation of how we may travel on together to serve Christ as best we can for the next 800 years!  

Glenys
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

Great you're here!

Prestbury Village

Welcome to the beautiful historic village of Prestbury and our Methodist Church in the heart of the village. You can expect a warm welcome; great worship; relevant preaching based in the Word of God and a friendly group of people ready to learn more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. 

Where and When
Click on Connect to find all the information about where, when and what happens at our church. We really hope you will enjoy joining in the many activities we have. 
 
To help plan your journey: 
  • There is free parking available on the church site and in the Village Hall car park which is adjacent to our church.There is an onsite wheel chair and wheelchair access to the ground floor.
  • Disabled parking available outside the front door
  • A sound loop system in the main worship area
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Large print paper versions of worship songs (please ask)
  • Disabled toilet in the foyer.
What to expect:
  • We offer a blended approach of worship (a) face to face Sunday mornings (currently 2nd and 4th Sundays each month) or (b) find us online each week with a regular service offered via You Tube. These are available in the Resources section of this site.
  • Family services such as Messy Church and lots of other resources for families can be found on our Family Facebook Site
  • Wondering what to wear?, whatever you feel comfortable in is just great.
Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! Get in touch and we can arrange a time that suits you.
 
Name:
Telephone:
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

Next, we will contact you by email to say hello, answer any questions you have and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.
 
We hope that whoever you are and whatever experience you have of church, you will feel at home at PMC.