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St Chad's is the historic parish church for Rochdale. 

Situated on an eminence overlooking the busy town of Rochdale, the Parish Church of St Chad has been a geographical and spiritual focal point for at least 800 years.  In common with that other famous local enimage - the 'Roman Road' over Blackstone Edge - the origins of the Parish Church are hidden in the mist of antiquity.

The first written record of the existence of the Church is in a document of 1194 which refers to Geoffrey the Elder, Dean of Whalley, as Vicar of Rochdale.  Hence the 800th anniversary was celebrated in 1994 with a visit by Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip.

However, the dedication to St Chad argues that the Church may have been much earlier in foundation. Ceadda or St Chad as he became known, was born in the 7th century and educated under St Aidan in the monastery on Linidisfarne.  He is known to have made several missionary journeys on foot in the north before being consecrated Bishop of Mercia.

He died soon afterwards in 672.  It is not impossible that he founded this church in Rochdale on one of his journeys.  In the window dedicated to him in the south aisle, he is pictured preaching in Rochdale and his image is over the south porch holding the church in his hands.

St Chad is much venerated in the Diocese of Manchester; there are five other churches dedicated to him, but none is of ancient foundation except Rochdale.  However, there are two in North Lancashire - Poulton-le-Fylde and Claughton - which are.

There are no remains of a church with earlier foundation except the so-called "Saxon Wall" at the northwest boundary of the churchyard.  This consists of some 30ft of slab of local stone slotted into uprights.  It was found partly buried and re-erected in 1903. The authority for describing the wall as "Saxon" is obscure.

St Mary in the Baum

In February 2011 the Church of St Mary-in-the-Baum, Rochdale, celebrated its centenary.  This was marked on February 2nd (Festival of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary) by a candle-lit Candlemass Service conducted by the Bishop of Manchester, Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, as part of a week of various celebratory activities.

The first St Mary-in-the-Baum Church was built in 1742 as a 'chapel-of-ease' (an overflow facility) for Rochdale Parish Church, St Chad's.  By 1909 the original church required so much repair that it was decided it would cost less to rebuild it.

The current church was consecrated on Februrary 2, 1911 by the Bishop of Manchester and is a Grade II listed building.

The architect was Sir Ninian Comper, a man well-known to those who take an interest in beautiful English churches.

The arrangement of the church is unusual, with the main aisle, choir and sanctuary along the south side of the church, and the Jesus Chapel on the north side.

The pillars which are used to separate off the Jesus Chapel are from the old church, as are its 'bottle glass' windows.

Substantial restoration of the church took place during the 1990s thanks largely to the efforts of the vicar at the time, Canon David Finney.

Baum (Rochdale dialect for 'balm') refers to the wild flowers which grew in the meadows where the church was built, variously thought to be Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) or White Mint.  Apparently this was a medicinal herb with healing powers, used as an ointment or as an infusion, and is known to have been sold in the late 1700s in Rochdale by local herbalists.




The development of what are known as the Marks of Mission began over 30 years ago, and were formally adopted by the Church of England in 1996.

There are the result of giving a simple and clear answer to the Question...”What does God want us to do to play our part in His plans for a better world…to bring His kingdom to earth?”

As well as loving God with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength…coming together in worship and praise, five broad marks of mission were devised...all based on teachings found in the Bible.

First...we are to TELL

To proclaim the good news of the kingdom…to share with others what we know of Jesus, by speaking to them about his life and teachings.

Second...we are to TEACH

To teach, baptise and nurture new believers…to welcome any who seek to join our church family, baptising them...caring for them...and helping them to grow in their Christian understanding.

Third…we are to TEND

To respond to human need by loving service…to be aware of where we can show the love of God to others...perhaps less fortunate than ourselves. Those who are hungry...homeless…sick...lonely...displaced, or despairing.

Fourth…we are to TRANSFORM

To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation…to speak out where we see and hear of exploitation and injustice...to work for peace and harmony in our violent and hate-filled world.

Fifth…we are to TREASURE

To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the Earth...to take seriously our stewardship of the Earth and its resources for our planet, and all living things created by God.

These marks of mission and not offered In any particular order of importance, but can be seen as “conversation starters” as we begin to think about how we can be involved in God’s plans for His Creation. 


  • Clear mission and purpose
  • Actively engaging with local context
  • Willing to change and adapt
  • A welcoming culture, ongoing relationships
  • Leaders innovate, envision, motivate
  • Lay people active in leadership
  • Engaging young people and young adults
  • Nurturing disciples.

More information:  www.fromevidencetoaction.org.uk



The Diocesan Vision, which has been approved by Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod, is:

A worshipping, growing and transforming Christian presence at the heart of every community.

Supporting this vision are three mission goals:

  • Growing: growing new disciples in missionary church communities which are younger, more diverse, active and spiritually engaged
  • Nurturing: increasing vocations, nurturing new and existing disciples, increasing financial giving
  • Serving: present for all, speaking and acting prophetically for justice, supporting pastorally especially the vulnerable, deprived and excluded.



As from 29 June 2021 our vicar is The Revd Anne Gilbert

St Chad's

Churchwardens: Paul Bollington and Alan Wild
Treasurer: Martin Butterworth
Organist and Director of Music: Philip Lowe
Assistant Organist: Celia Tope

St Mary in the Baum

Churchwarden: Andrea Pollock
Treasurer: tbc



The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is the key decision making body of a Church of England parish.  It consists of clergy, churchwardens and others elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) of the parish.

Its powers and duties are defined by certain Acts of Parliament and other legislation, principally the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956.

It has the responsibility, along with the incumbent (rector, vicar or priest-in-charge), to promote the mission of God in its parish.

Legally, the PCC is responsible for the finances of the parish.  It also has ultimate responsibility for the care and maintenance of all church buildings and their contents.  Although these responsibilities are executed by the churchwardens, all PCC members must share in the oversight.  It has a voice in the forms of Service used by the church and may make representations to the bishop on matters that affect the welfare of the parish. However, buildings and money must not obscure the PCC’s fundamental role in wider areas of mission. Everyone on a PCC is also a Charity Trustee.

Serving on the PCC or DCC

St Chad, Rochdale, and St Mary in the Baum, Rochdale.

Working with the Clergy in the Mission of the Church where you live.

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is the key decision making body of a Church of England parish.  It consists of clergy, churchwardens and others elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) of the parish.  Its powers and duties are defined by certain Acts of Parliament and other legislation, principally the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956.

It has the responsibility, along with the incumbent (rector, vicar, or priest-in-charge), to promote the mission of God in its parish.

Legally, the PCC is responsible for the finances of the parish.  It also has ultimate responsibility for the care and maintenance of all church buildings and their contents.  Although these responsibilities are executed by the churchwardens, all PCC members must share in the oversight.  It has a voice in the forms of Service used by the church and may make representations to the bishop on matters that affect the welfare of the parish.  However, buildings and money must not obscure the PCC’s fundamental role in wider areas of mission.

Everyone on a PCC is also a Charity Trustee.  Initially this may sound daunting as there are legal responsibilities involved, as well as a need for a passion for the mission of the church and its role in your local community.  But do not be turned off as enthusiasm, common sense and commitment should see you through.  Plus, the Diocese is here to help.

If you are or have been a member of a PCC or DCC, thank you for your part in the mission of the Diocese - and if you are considering joining a PCC or DCC, then be assured of welcome and support.


Attendance and Preparation: PCC Members should aim to attend most meetings and to read minutes, financial statements and papers before each meeting.  PCC members should also attend major activities not just in the parish but in the Diocese & Deanery, so that they feel part of the wider church family.

Financial Strategy: The PCC decides corporately how the church's money is to be raised and spent.  This is a key mission decision as well as a financial one.

Financial Oversight: Each PCC member is responsible for ensuring that the PCC complies with requirements of both charity law and current church accounting regulations.  This should include receiving regular financial updates; ensuring procedures exist to appropriately approve payments and that all cheques are signed by two authorised PCC members; ensuring that the service offertories and other monies are appropriately supervised; generating the Annual Report & Accounts and submitting these documents to the APCM for approval, then sending them on to the Diocese (and Charity Commission if required).

Mission Planning: The PCC, with the incumbent, should ensure that there is an up-to-date and active parish mission plan, which asks and answers the following questions: (i) what is the mission of God in our parish; (ii) what ministries do we need for this mission; (iii) what resources do we need for these ministries?

Outreach: The PCC needs to work with the incumbent to promote within the parish the whole mission of the Church – pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical - and to enable every member of the church to play a full part. Many parishes have church schools which are central to the mission of the parish.

Buildings: The PCC is responsible for the church, ancillary buildings (e.g. Hall) and churchyard/graveyard.  This will include Health & Safety, fulfilling the heritage requirements on buildings, insurance and maintenance work.  Churchwardens should take the lead, but the whole PCC share the responsibility.

Employer: The PCC acts as the employer of the local church's paid workers, for example cleaners, youth workers, organist or parish administrator.

Consultative Role: The PCC will be consulted about major changes to the forms of worship used in the parish, the appointment of a new incumbent and any proposed pastoral re-organisation.  It can also raise issues with the Bishop.


There are 3 categories: ex-officio (clergy, licensed workers, readers, churchwardens, General, Diocesan & Deanery Synod members), elected and co-opted.  The number of elected and co-opted members is directly set by the size of the church’s electoral roll.


Candidates are elected to the PCC at the APCM that takes place before 30th April each year.  To be elected to the PCC, a person needs to have been on the electoral roll for at least 6 months, over 16, consent to being appointed and should also have received communion at least three times in the previous year.  They must also be legally allowed to be a Charity Trustee.  The normal term of office is three years. Standard practice is for one third of the elected members to be elected each year.  The appointment of any co-opted members terminates at each APCM.


General: PCCs can create sub-committees to carry out specific jobs.  Each sub-committee should have at least one PCC member along with other church members who have enthusiasm and/or relevant expertise.  These sub-committees are responsible to the PCC, should report back regularly and seek approval before making major changes or incurring significant costs.  The PCC is ultimately responsible and should give clear direction to all its sub-committees.

The Standing Committee is a statutory PCC committee.  It carries out the work of the PCC between meetings (e.g. if an urgent matter arises for which a full PCC Meeting cannot be called).  The Standing Committee reports to the PCC.  The incumbent & churchwardens are ex-officio members and the PCC would normally appoint the treasurer and PCC secretary to serve as well.  The PCC may also appoint the vice-chair, if it wishes to.


PCC members must ensure that neither they, nor their family members, benefit from their membership of the PCC.  Thus PCC members and their families should not be employed by the church without the prior written consent of the Charity Commission.  The payment of PCC members and their families is a complex issue and advice should always be sought.


In all that is done PCC members need to ensure that the highest standards are maintained – breaches of Health & Safety, or not having someone CRB checked because they are a long serving member of the church, etc. is not acceptable.  Our Christian faith demands that we are good stewards.

Paul Bollington and Alan Wild
1 March 2020

The Parochial Church Council 2020-2021

St Chad's

Wardens:  P Bollington, A Wild
Treasurer:  M Butterworth
Vice Chair:  Rod Asten
P Arkle
L Goddard
P Goddard
G Knox
J Massey
L Taylor

PCC Meetings will be held on:

  • Monday 20 April 2020 at 7.30 pm  *postponed*
  • Monday 8 June 2020 at 7.30 pm  *postponed*
  • Monday 10 August 2020 at 7.30 pm   *postponed*
  • Monday 12 October 2020 at 7.30 pm  *postponed*
  • Monday 21 December 2020 at 7 pm - Extraordinary meeting, via Zoom
  • Monday 11 January 2021 at 7.30 pm - *postponed*
  • Monday 1 March 2021 at 7.30 pm - *postponed*
  • Annual Parish Council Meeting on Monday 26 April at 7 pm, via Zoom
  • Tuesday 26 April 2021 at 7.30 pm, via Zoom
  • Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 5.15 pm - Extraordinary meeting 
  • Tuesday 20 July 2021 at 7.30 pm, via Zoom
  • Wednesday 8 September 2021 at 7.30 pm

St Mary in the Baum PCC

W Cullen, P Harrison, V Leach, A Pollock, M Simmonds



Annual Reports for the year 2018 can be downloaded here

St Chad's          St Mary in the Baum



St Chad’s has various groups and teams which meet from time to time to help things happen at Church and in the parish/town.

Whilst the Parochial Church Council is responsible for governance, the work of the church needs many willing hands and supporters.

We need you!

This list is incomplete and there may be some errors! 

Please do let us know what they are – and please do get involved.

Officers and key roles

Safeguarding Officer:  Angela Collins
Standing Committee:  Warden(s), Vicar, Treasurer, Secretary and Jill Midgley
Secretary:  tbc

Deputy Church Wardens:
Peter Arkle, Rod Asten, Donald Fletcher, Peter Goddard, John Holder, Graham Knox

Sidespeople Team:  tbc



Fundraising  and Grants Group

Co-ordinated by Martin Butterworth    0170 637 9286

We organise (and help others organise) fundraising events, which involve lots of different people.

Current ideas include: Beetle Drive, Band Night, Jumble Sale, Poetry Night, Folk Night, Sponsored Walks, Sponsored Sing, Classical Concerts, Choir Visits.

Membership:  Martin Butterworth, Donald Fletcher, Philip Lowe

Maintenance Group

Co-ordinated by Rod Asten   0170 664 1131

We do practical jobs in the church, polish the floors, minor repairs, etc., but also work to keep the water out of church and generally keep things in good order.

Membership:  Rod Asten, Peter Arkle, Martin Butterworth, Eddie Rogers, 
Graham Knox, Peter Goddard, Alan Wild, Donald Fletcher, Wayne Tatton

Bells Group

Co-ordinated by Debra Holmes, Tower Captain   0794 158 9540

We are a group of bell ringers from St Chad’s and sister churches, and members of St Chad’s PCC and the local community who are working to get the bells restored

Current activities include weekly practices on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 pm to 9 pm for Sunday Services.

We shall soon be getting the work planned for the bells restoration.  Fund raising has started, helped by a generous legacy, but there is a long way to go to raise approx £170,000

Membership:  tbc

Communications Group

Contact: Peter Goddard   0756 463 5900

What we do: we recognise that in this digital age the Church needs to be more accessible, more visible and have a presence on social media and the web.

Current ideas include:  looking at the following... “Open All Hours” - how the church can be open more, leaflet campaigns, Heritage Visits including developing what we do currently, exhibitions, [getting WiFi in Church, Facebook and Twitter pages, web sites - now done].

Membership: Paul Bollington, Peter Goddard, Graham Knox, Alan Wild, PCC Sec, Vicar

Newsletter and Website: Linda Goddard

Worship Team

Co-ordinator: The Vicar

This group brings together those involved in, or with an interest in the worship at the Church to work together to create worship and to involve many in it. Only meets occasionally.

Current ideas include: clarifying plans for children’s worship in church, also a less formal, more meditative, monthly Eucharist at 11 am

Membership:  The Vicar, Linda Goddard, Philip Lowe, Jill Midgley

Schools Work

Organised by Jill Midgley   0170 663 9162

This group organises programmes for school visits to St Chad’s.

Many visits from primary schools have been organised to date, including the Experience Easter programme which we ran in 2017 and 2018.

We have also worked with Manchester Cathedral on the 5 pillars of Christianity programme.

We explore new ways each year seeking to improve the experience of children coming to St Chad’s to help them understand Christian faith.

Membership:  Sue Fletcher, Jo Hill, Jill Midgley and others.

Pastoral Care: Congregation

This informal group does home visits to those who are unable to come to Church on a Sunday.  These visits play a vital role in the wellbeing of the individual.

Many are involved. You too can be part of this group and simply visit or you can help with home communions.  If you wish to do this work on behalf of the church please contact the Vicar.

Baptism and Confirmation Preparation Team

Co-ordinator: Linda Goddard   0756 463 5900

This group helps teach adults and children about the faith, in particular those who are new to the faith or have not grown up with a Christian family.

We run weekly preparation sessions, as required, usually over 4 - 6 sessions.

Support is provided by the vicar and other ministers.

Membership: Linda Goddard, The Vicar

Church Watch/Heritage Open Days Team

Co-ordinator: Graham Knox   0170 664 2311

This group facilitates the opening of the Church on some afternoons during the Summer and also the Church’s involvement in the national programme of HODS.

Volunteers are needed.

The St Chad’s Choir

Singing is at the heart of the Church’s worship. The Choir sings most Sunday mornings and practises on a Thursday evening.

Choir Director:  Philip Lowe   Contact: philmus22@outlook.com

The St Chad’s Altar Guild

The Altar Guild plays a key role in providing and arranging flowers in church and providing hospitality.

Chair:  Lyn Taylor   Contact: LTaylorMrs@aol.com


It’s your church!

This ancient parish church is not the property of those listed above, rather it belongs to all the people of this community of Rochdale.

We hope you will be involved, either in one of the groups above, or as a partner organisation, or as a donor.


Please contact us for more information.



The Rev Anne Gilbert
Vicarage: 01706 346774  
Mobile: 0786 529 3827

Asst Curate: Fr. Darren Quinlan
0730 889 8008

Churchwardens at St Chad's:
Paul Bollington 0756 698 3798 
Alan Wild 0790 583 7847

Churchwarden at St Mary in the Baum: 
Andrea Pollock 0797 419 1246

Asian Fellowship at St Chad's ایشیائی فیلوشپ  
Leader: Elizabeth Julius 0793 184 6942 (please text) 





The ministry of our church changes lives both in our church and in the town; it is good that we are here as a continuing Christain presence.  There is so much for which we as a church can be grateful.

This ministry costs money and your giving makes this ministry possible.  When we give we express our thanks to God for all he has blessed us with, in our homes and families

Your giving maintains and develops the ministry of the church for all ages, extends our care for the bereaved and the sick, welcomes those coming for baptisms, weddings, and funerals and being active in the mission of God in the town and overseas.

Every penny you give helps pay our bills, for gas and electricity, insurance, and for our clergy and ministers through the parish share.

To do all of this, and more, costs a staggering £965 each week. At the moment we are £100 per week short of this figure ie £3 per individual.

You can make a donation via online/internet banking by transferring from your account to: 
A/c name:  Rochdale Parish Church, Sort Code:  05-07-22, A/c number:  24990011
or by completing the Standing Order Form and sending it to:
Rochdale Parish Church, c/o 17 Dale View, Littleborough, OL15 0BP.

Time and Talents

You have been blessed with gifts and when you give of time or talents you make the church live.
We want to help you use your time to do useful and rewarding things.
If you would like to help, please contact us.

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