On October 12, 1974 Heaton Moor Evangelical Church’s first building was opened on Green Lane in Heaton Moor.
The church began five years before that, when Sunday services started on October 19, 1969. The idea of its formation came even earlier at informal meetings of interested folk in 1967 and 1968. Yet the unseen beginnings, go back to the 1930s when a small group of believers began praying for a local Bible centred church in the neighbourhood. So from unseen beginnings over more than 40 years, and since then another forty years as an active evangelical church.
To the founder members the idea of a local church was very appealing. It would provide spiritual food for those who up to then had lacked it; it would be a local fellowship for those who had hitherto been church-commuters; and it would be a witness in the locality to the one gospel.
All the early developments came as God worked through the fellowship of believers. What struck those who came into the church was the particularly warm and vibrant sense of belonging together in the Lord. The church appreciated gifts such as teaching, administration, caring, giving and hospitality and from the beginning sought to actively involve the majority of members in the day-to-day work of the church.
A growing youth group and thriving children’s work soon created some problems in facilities and accommodation and the new building was opened on Green Lane Heaton Moor on October 12, 1974. Now the church could further develop its activities.
Designed as a dual-purpose building for a fellowship of about 150, the rear section was soon in regular use on Sundays as the congregation grew. Further changes to the building were made and even with these improvements limitations continued to exist.
The church has looked for alternative accommodation for some years and from 2011 as the congregation began to grow again, there was a need to provide more room for children and young people. Doors seemed to be continually closed until 2014 when God opened the way for the church to move its Sunday services to Houldsworth Mill in Reddish.
The future is known only to God. In the meantime our task is to faithfully continue, building on the foundations that have been laid, adapting to meet the needs of a fast changing world where one thing does not change — the need of the human being to be ‘born again’. To share this message on the ‘Moor’, in the ‘Heatons’ and beyond was the vision of the pioneers back in 1969. Now as Emmanuel Community Church, it’s in the Heatons, Reddish and beyond. Our aim, to know Jesus and make Him known, reflects this unchanging desire, and we do this in faith.
By Elder and founder member, Ross Evans 2015