The Stourport United Reformed Church

The URC building in Vale Road.Around the mid 1960's the Congregational Church in Stourport was unable to find a Minister from its own resources. As a result an agreement was reached with the Vicar of Stourport, the Rev John Castle, and the Bishop of Worcester, the Rt. Rev Robin Woods, to allow the curate of Stourport to act as minister to the Congregational Church. This informal arrangement was to continue for some time and eventually became the base for the present day linking

In 1972 the Congregational Church in England and Wales formed a union with the Presbyterian Church in England and became the United Reformed Church (URC).

Also in 1972 Rev Patrick Fedden became Vicar of Stourport and the Rev. John Hamblin, the Minister at Baxter United Reformed Church in Kidderminster, was given oversight of the Stourport URC and its linking with the Parish Church. Bishop Woods took the view that this arrangement should not continue and either the relationship should move on or be discontinued.

The existing URC Building in Vale Road was at that time in need of repair and becoming a financial strain on the small congregation.

As a result in 1975 a decision was taken to close the Stourport URC building and to share the Parish Church of Stourport, St. Michael and All Angels, with the local Church of England congregation.

The inside as it was at Easter in the past.The relationship was working well with the two separate congregations and a combined Sunday School meeting each Sunday when on the evening of January 2nd 1976 the Parish Church was severely damaged in a storm.

The URC congregation agreed to reopen the old building in Vale Road and both congregations and the Sunday school continued to meet there until 1980. During this period both churches worked together in raising funds for the new building on the St.Michaels site, which was occupied in 1980. At that time the relationship was formalised by the establishment of a Local Ecumenical Project (LEP)

However, over time, the Stourport URC Congregation reduced in size and finally "Baxter Church", the URC church in Kidderminster, assumed responsibility for the few remaining members.

As a result the decision was taken to end the LEP.

The old Congregational building remains in the service of Christ and is now the community hall for the neighbouring Roman Catholic church.


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