THE community has come together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a special Northwich church.

Castle Community Church, a local ecumenical church bringing Methodists and United Reformed Church members together, was built in 1972 – one of the first new churches to be built in the town for many years.

Reverend Helen Kirk, chair of the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent Methodist District, paid a visit as part of the milestone and preached to a packed church, supported by soloist Janet Atherton with Wendy Carr playing the organ.

Rev Kirk reminded the congregation that while they were celebrating 50 years since the building was opened, it was the congregation and the community that made the church such a success and wished the church well for its future.

Following the service, a celebratory cake was cut by Rev Pat Billsborrow, Rev Chris Pritchard, the Mid Cheshire superintendent minister and Rev Kirk.

Shelia Forster, a retired senior church steward, said: “I have worshipped at Castle for more than 80 years and it was a delight to hear Reverend Kirk’s message.

“Prior to our new church in Beeston Street, our former church was across the road in Zion Street.

“I am so proud of what our church has achieved in the last 50 years.

“Rev Kirk’s visit was the icing on the cake for our church's very special day."

Wendy Carr, a current trustee of the church said: “Whilst I was playing the organ at this very special service, I was also reflecting on the opening service in 1972.

“I had the privilege of playing the organ on that day as well and I can remember the designer of the building Mr Schofield handing over the keys for the new building to Mr Ossie Hill, our trust secretary and society steward.

“Following that, a procession entered the building to the strains of the hymn ‘O Thou whose hand has brought us unto this joyful day’.

“Back in 1972, Castle Methodist Church as it was then known, was one of the first new churches to be built in the town for many years.”