A new church (continued)

background beginnings building
war_memorial vicars today-sides

Revd Douglas Oates (2005–2009)

Holy Trinity Church, Waterhead - Reverend OatesDoug was for many years a lecturer at Oldham College, teaching Motor Vehicle Technology, Applied Science and Mathematics, but immediately before joining Waterhead Church he was teaching Form Studies, RE, and Science at North Chadderton School.

Doug was appointed Priest-in-Charge of Waterhead in 2005. He was already Vicar at nearby St Barnabas’ Church in Clarksfield, Oldham, so his appointment to Holy Trinity formed the first major link between the two Churches since Daddy French left St Barnabas in 1873.

Doug’s job role changed the following year when he was appointed Team Vicar—‘Team’ because in November 2006 Holy Trinity joined the Medlock Head Team of Churches in east Oldham. The other Churches in the Team were St Barnabas in Clarksfield and St John the Baptist, in Hey or Lees. As Team Vicar, Doug remained responsible for nearby St Barnabas.

It had become clear to almost everyone that the Church fabric needed urgent attention, particularly its roof and spire. Some members were even beginning to discuss the necessity of closing the Church because the structure was becoming unsafe. So Doug started the third restoration project in the Church’s long history.

In fact, almost his first act on joining the Church was to level the dilapidated path encircling the Church and surfaced it with tarmac. Internally, a lead theft had caused part of the chancel ceiling to collapse, which also splintered many of the choir pews beneath. He oversaw the necessary repairs to the Chancel. He was also the first Vicar in recent times to seriously discuss reordering the Church to a more modern specification.

Doug retired in 2009, but is still very active in local Churches — particularly in the Rochdale area.

Revd Dr Paul Monk (2009–present)

Holy Trinity Church, Waterhead - Reverend Paul Monk

Holy Trinity Church, Waterhead – Reverend Paul Monk

Paul was for many years engaged in chemical research.

He became Team Vicar in 2009 and led his first service on All Saints’ Day. He soon made a priority of restoring and re-ordering the Church to make it suitable for modern worship. Accordingly, in 2010, the chancel was re-ordered and painted, and the vestry was stripped and redecorated. In 2011, the chancel was repaired with much of its old electrical wiring being replaced and new flood-lighting installed. The church also had to contend with much vandalism, with virtually all the lead from its roof being stolen. The relevant areas were repaired and, at much the same time, the outside of the Church was flood-lit and a modern CCTV system installed.

In 2012, the old south porch was reinstated with a new door and lighting, and a modern toilet block installed under the tower, which meant blocking off the old entrance under the tower. Also, about a third of the pews at the rear of the Church were removed to create a large ‘community space’; the pulpit (which was wobbling ominously) was removed and the old 1855 stone font mounted on the plinth vacated when the old pulpit was removed. A few old box pews were also removed at the front of the Church and dry rot beneath them treated. Also in 2012, new microphones were installed together with purpose-built housings for the apparatus controlling the sound system.

In 2013, the north roof was entirely re-slated and the south side was re-slated in 2014. Also in early 2014, the sound-system was completed with new speakers and amplifiers, and the area in front of the south porch was developed to make it fully disability-compliant.

A beautiful and purpose-built disability access ramp was installed in 2015.20160627_172503

In 2016 the spire and tower were re-pointed inside and out, and all the corroding caste-iron metalwork was replaced with stainless steel. Even the weather-vane was renovated and re-gilded.

Also in 2016, the ageing lighting system was completely replaced with an elegant and energy-efficient LED system. A new kitchen was installed in 2018 and a new floor at the back of the Church in 2020. We plan to enhance the chancel to accommodate more and enhanced styles of worship.

At the same time, the Parish Hall has been re-ordered with a new fire- and smoke-alarm system (2011), new floor and redecoration (2012) and its first sound system installed (2013), new toilets, (2017) and new heating (2019).

In these and many other ways, Holy Trinity Church is being made available to a new generation of worshippers.