A STAFFORD church will gain independence on Sunday as it is declared a new parish.
The service at St Bertelin’s in Holmcroft will include some of the people who bought a brick during the 1950s fund-raising campaign that led to the church being built.
The church has always been part of the parish of St Mary’s but last year St Bertelin’s Church Council took the decision to become an independent parish. The consecration service will be the final step in achieving the status of a self-supporting parish with its own parish church.
The Bishop of Stafford the Rt Rev Geoff Annas will lead the service of consecration as an independent parish in the Church of England.
The new parish of St Bertelin will comprise Creswell Manor and the Eccleshall Road, Holmcroft, Trinity Fields, Stone Road and Parkside.
And the date of the consecration - October 13 - will be signif- icant as the church was originally dedicated 57 years ago on October 13, 1956.
The service will be at 3pm and the visitors will also include Ian Goodwin, headteacher of Tillington Manor Primary School and Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy.
The Revd Elaine Evans, vicar of the new parish, said: “The people of St. Bertelin’s have been looking forward eagerly to this day. It marks a significant moment in the story of S. Bertelin’s and its people, and in their life of worship and Christ- ian witness.”
St Bertelin was an Anglo-Saxon holy man who for a time lived as a hermit in the marshes around the River Sow where the town of Stafford is now located. The foundations of a very early chapel built at or soon after his time can still be seen in outline outside St Mary’s Church.