A Memorial Service was held in the Church today at 4.00pm. The service was for the bereaved relatives and friends of those who had died during and since the start of the pandemic. This is usually an annual service, but owing to covid it has not taken place since 2019. It was a quiet and reflective service and members of the congregation were invited to light candles in memory of their loved ones.
If you were in the Scouts, Guides or Youth Club in the 70’s at Long Street Methodist Church you may well rememberJohn Chamberlain and Katherine ….?
They were down from Yorkshire attending a reunion of the above and joined the morning service,talked about the ‘old ‘times, friends and had a walk around the building, remembering as it was and surprised about the changes following the restoration.
Thank you for coming and sharing your memories of time at Long Street.
On Monday afternoon 4th July, twenty two members of the Victorian Society in American Summer School visited the Church and Schools Rooms. This was their third venue of the day, following a hard hat tour of the Manchester Town Hall and the Victoria Baths.
They were relieved to soak in the atmosphere of the church and enjoy refrehments before looking around the building and learning about importance of the architecture of Edgar Wood.
The email received following their visit is as follows:
Many thanks to you and your colleagues at Long Street for hosting today’s visit for the Victorian Society in America, and also for your warm hospitality. The visit was greatly appreciated, and it was an eye-opener for the whole group to see such a masterpiece. They had not heard of Edgar Wood before, but now they will be spreading his fame. While I have visited the building before it is always such a delight to experience . What a wonderful architect he was!
With thanks and best wishes,
The Church and School Rooms were open for five half days during this year’s HODs, attracting both local and visitors from the wider region. The walk around the Conservation Area and the Edgar Wood properties on Sunday 12th September was over subscribed. A pre booked group of 22 were divided into two groups and starting in opposite directions. The walk will be repeated in Spring 2022, so send an email if you wish to be informed of details nearer to the time (email@example.com).
The gates were opened and It was good to be back for a service at Long Street although with a difference, for the first service in the building since 15th March, 2020.
To make easier to comply with covid protocols, the service was held in the hall of the Edgar Wood Rooms. The atmosphere was different, but a success all the same and will be repeated again next week. If you would like to book a seat phone 0161 6530512.
With all the interest in Arts & Crafts churches recently, two books being published on the subject, it is worth mentioning that religious Arts & Crafts work sometimes turns up in quite unexpected places.
A good example is St. Mary’s Church in Wigton, Cumbria. This is a large 1788 classical preaching box, miles from anywhere north of the Lake District. It’s a fine looking building. I went in with my ‘Georgian’ hat on and it certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard.
However, one of the aisle windows beneath a balcony caught my eye with its harmonious green tones and Arts & Crafts character. Looking more closely, a Crane signature marked it out as being by Walter Crane, who, as a metropolitan based socialist, is possibly the last person you would expect to see in these parts.
The window is quite formal – a nod to the classicism of the building, perhaps. It represents Christ as the Light of the World. The border has cherubs sitting on the branches of a climbing plant which grows around Christ as if sustained by his light – a nice blend of Christian and Art Nouveau ideas. The date is 1906, so it is a late work.
Wakter Crane was born in Liverpool and taught in Manchester in the 1890s. He was the first president of the Northern Art Workers Guild which was set up by Edgar Wood. While Crane and Wood knew one another it is not yet known how close their artistic paths coincided. For more information on Walter Crane click here.
The church gates were decorated yesterday for Pentecost and the first service since lockdown at Long Street planned for today, unfortunately had to be postponed, so it was back to Zoom.
We now look forward to the first service on the 13th June. Until then the Sunday morning and evening services will continue on Zoom. Details can be found on the Manchester Circuits web site. https://manchestermethodists.org.uk
The Title is: “Is it or isn’t it? A Field Guide to Arts & Crafts Churches.”
Alec says “It’s my attempt to answer the big question that constantly crops up: “What are the essential characteristics of an Arts & Crafts church?” Also expressed as, “How do I know it’s an Arts & Crafts church when I finally get into it?” (Another popular one is “There is a church near me. It has a Burne-Jones window. Why, oh why, is it not in your book?” And I have a soft spot for “Who was this William Morris bloke anyway
As this fourth talk is for VicSoc, I have to warn you it costs £5 to view. I know. A disgrace. But cheaper than Netflix and Curzon Home Cinema. And shorter. And VicSoc needs the money – rest assured, I do not get a bean. Meanwhile VicSoc has to carry on its work as statutory consultative body on planning matters, and keeping a sharp eye out for buildings under threat, despite the current unpleasantness. Whereas I am a diversion.
If you missed Alec Hamilton’s talk yesterday lunchtime, it is available on the Churches Conservation Trust’s YouTube feed. Just enter ChurchesConservation Trust into your browser and you will find all the information.
Weekly lectures are free and are live at 1.00pm but you do need to register or sign into Facebook.
Following a water burst last week, on Friday the damaged surface was being removed (revealing some of the original stone sets). Although the Church remains closed (Covid) details of online services can be found on the web site www.manchestermethodists.org.uk
Alec Hamilton author of the recently available book ‘Arts and Crafts Churches’, published and available from Lund Humphries, gave an excellent lecture last evening for the SAHGB (Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain). With over 400 illustrations taken from churches across the country, showing a wealth of both variations and similarities of what can be said to be examples of the Arts and Crafts Church.
The ‘icing on the cake’ for me was the mention of, and images of Long Street Methodist Church, together with the plug for the website www.artsandcraftschurch.org
A recording of a previous talk by Alec on ‘Arts and Crafts Churches’ is available on the Victorian Societies website www.victoriansociety.org.uk or try the link Arts & Crafts Churches – Crowdcast
The Rev. Caroline Wickens departs Long Street Methodist Church to continue her 45 mile sponsored ride around the Churches in the Circuit. Donations are in aid of the Faith Network for Manchester and donations can be made via the Ride for Faiths Together page on gofundme.com