Ford’s Lane Church, situated a few minutes’ walk from train station and Bramhall Village, is a peaceful retreat in a convenient location. Though the bright and airy building is 52 years old, the church has served worshippers in and around Bramhall since 1884 – including our very own founder Wendy Green. Attending services, Sunday School and youth activity groups at the church and her father Roger Green, was a church elder, Wendy has fond memories of her childhood church.
I Love Bramhall met up with Pastor Jonathan Dawson, community and family worker Shelley, and youth worker Andy to find out more about all that Ford’s Lane Church has to offer.
A church of Evangelical denomination, the central focus at Ford’s Lane is the teaching of the Bible and the joy that comes with it. Pastor Jonathan Dawson’s preaching is renowned within the Bramhall community and further afield, with parishioners coming over from Marple, High Lane, the Heatons and beyond to hear the good news. Audio clips of sermons old and new are also handily available on the church website.
A member of Bramhall Together Trust, which organises the annual Bramhall Summer Festival, the message of Ford’s Lane Church reaches far beyond Sunday services. Fundraising events for deserving organisations such as the International Justice Mission are held often, as well as fun activities for all members of the family to enjoy. Recently the church put on a murder mystery night that proved a big hit with parishioners and also got involved in the Summer Festival, holding a fantastic Grease sing-along evening in June.
The church is truly a hub for all members of the community, from the kids’ club on Fridays to the regular lunches for the over-60s. While the church building remains a focal point, members of the congregation also hold barbeques and lunches at their homes and even meet up at the pub, intertwining the teachings of the Bible with the dynamism of modern life.
Pastor Jonathan, along with Shelley and Andy, aim to strike a balance between maintaining the traditional teachings of the Bible and ensuring that the holy book’s contents are delivered in a joyful and up-to-date way.
All three enjoy the community atmosphere of Bramhall, saying the village is friendly and pleasant, encapsulating something of a rural feel despite being well-connected to Stockport and Manchester. Since Andy’s relocation to the village from Drighlington, Leeds, all live within a stone’s throw of the church and are happy to chat to anyone who’s interested in learning more about what’s on offer at Ford’s Lane, whether they’re embarking on a journey in faith or are already on the path.
A priority for the church is making sure the Bible and its message are made accessible for all ages and demographics. As well as the frequent and community-orientated events, there is always the opportunity to read and study the Bible in silence, providing many with much-needed respite from the busyness of everyday life. Families are well catered for with young families’ Bible study sessions on Tuesdays, while the free literature at the back of the church encourages parishioners to take some of the teachings home with them.
The evangelical denomination does not baptise babies, and while children are more than welcome at services, people are encouraged to come to their own decision about the Christian faith. Thus worshippers are baptised when they say they want to follow Jesus for themselves. Ford’s Lane works with local schools for visits and hosts a holiday club at Easter, giving children the opportunity to discover faith for themselves alongside developing friendships and exploring creativity in a safe setting.
In August, Ford’s Lane Church brought the beach to Bramhall with a 12-day event held on the premises, so residents could enjoy an ice cream and the sand between their toes without even having to leave the village. What about church for those who don’t do church? Starting on September 16th and running on the third Sunday of each month, the church will be holding a relaxed and informal family service called Mosaic at Moss Hey School from 4pm to 6 pm. Everyone is invited to come along, bring a packed tea (drinks provided) and explore matters of faith with others.
So whether you’re a practising Christian, thinking of rekindling your faith or just looking for local family-friendly activities to enjoy during the summer holidays, there’s bound to be something for you at Ford’s Lane Church.
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