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A BRIEF HISTORY
There have been services of worship at the Church of the Martyrs stretching back over more than 120 years to when it was first built as part of a new housing estate in 1890.
In 1990 a booklet History of the Martyrs was produced to mark the church’s centenary. The text of that booklet appears next.
A healthy church is one that is always gently evolving so as to relate effectively to an ever changing culture (and also to harness new technologies that can benefit its worship and mission).
At the same time a healthy church is one that stays true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and helps people in uncertain times to be anchored in that faith through its worshipping heritage stretching back over many generations.
The Martyrs has evolved in numerous ways in recent years, both in terms of its mission and worship and in terms of its buildings, for example:
- A music group has led worship at our 10.30am services for over 25 years and the space formerly occupied by the choir in the chancel was reordered in 2012 to allow more flexible use in worship for drama, evening worship, children’s activities during our Tomatoes breakfast club. At the same time the beautiful war memorial that surrounds the chancel continues to be a focal point for our annual service of remembrance.
- With the creation of a kitchen and server at the back of the church, it has been possible to introduce a bi-weekly breakfast event called ‘Tomatoes’, with live music, time to chill and chat, newspapers, a short talk, prayer and a full cooked breakfast! Many who would not have darkened the door of a traditional church have thereby been welcomed into our fellowship.
- The addition of a large screen in the chancel and smaller screens in the side aisle has enabled the words used in all services to be projected for everyone to see and the use of both photographic and visual images to enhance talks and prayer times. It even means that baptisms can still take place in the original font at the back of church, whilst simultaneously projecting the images on the screens to enable everyone to see children and adults being baptised.
- With the creation in 2012 of a fully glazed prayer vestry it has become possible for people to pray quietly before or after worship even when there is large amounts of noise in the main building; and it has also become possible to locate the children’s crèche in this newly sound-proofed space, enabling parents to access it any point with their children during morning worship.
- The focal point of our worship in sharing communion has been enhanced in 2013 by the addition of a second, removable, curved communion rail at the front of the chancel, allowing more time and space for worshippers to remain at the communion rail in prayer and enabling a healing prayer team to minister more easily in the chancel area.
But evolutions and developments in both mission and worship have been ever present in the history of the Martyrs as the following older history of the Martyrs makes clear.
Last Updated: 20 November 2015