Regulars’, ‘newcomers’ and ‘seekers’ are all warmly welcome. Brook Street Chapel is a Unitarian Christian spiritual community: grounded in the teachings of Jesus, as well as being open to the insights and wisdom from other faith traditions. We invite you to join us on our journey of faith: each of us with our own viewpoints but freely united in love and service.
If you are interested in knowing more about our services there are some ‘Notes on Sunday Services‘ below.
We do not currently have a permanent Minister but for the next few months many of our Services will be conducted by Student Minister Francis Elliot-Wright as part of his ministry training. Other services will be conducted by members of other Chapels who have kindly agreed to support us until we have a new Minister appointed.
Enjoy tea, coffee biscuits and a chat after Sunday Service. The Chapel is known for its friendly atmosphere and so you will always receive a warm welcome, friendship and support.
Sunday 3 September – FAMILY Service led by David Westhead
Sunday 10 September – Service led by Ken Howard (Stalybridge)
Sunday 17 September – Service led by Francis Elliot-Wright
Sunday 24 September – GASKELL Service led by Tina Gandhi
Sunday 1 October – FAMILY Service led by Francis Elliot-Wright
Sunday 8 October – Service led by …
Sunday 15 October – Service led by Francis Elliot-Wright
Sunday 22 October – Service led by Gary Hammond (Warrington)
Sunday 29 October – Service led by Len Elias (Stalybridge)
Arrangements for funerals may be made via the chapel committee.
The planning of a funeral may be one of the most difficult tasks that a family member or friend may have to do. Our Minister will help share the burden of loss and create a service which honours and celebrates the life of the deceased with calm sensitivity.
There are no set rules or regulations to the funeral service, so the family may choose music, readings or a setting that reflects the life of their loved one.
This ceremony is the final farewell and is important, therefore, it is planned with care. The minister will visit you as often as necessary, as well as keeping in touch both by email and telephone. Your sense of loss is recognised and pastoral support will be offered during this difficult time.
The minister will also conduct memorial services and services for those who were not able to attend the funeral of a loved one who may have died abroad.
Brook Street Chapel holds an open-minded view of Baptism. We believe that by bringing a child for Baptism, we as a community of family and friends celebrate the life of that child. We ask for God’s blessing on both the child, his or her parents and the God parents. It is a time when the parents and Godparents make a commitment to welcome the child into a loving and safe kinship, offering protection, teaching right thinking principles and being honoured as a valuable person. We also respect those who prefer to organise a naming ceremony rather than a baptism or Christening. We have no restrictions on the number of Godparents or sponsors. The Minister wishes to meet both parents and Godparents before the ceremony to ensure that all those involved are committed to their role.
A variety of music, readings, gifts or symbols can be used for the ceremony and each service is unique to each family.
Brook Street Chapel are very proud to offer a beautiful venue for weddings. Our three hundred year old building with its simple beauty is a wonderful backdrop for all the wedding finery and can help create a day that the happy couple will never forget.
The minister creates a unique service for each couple. The couple may wish to write their own vows, give gifts to each other during the ceremony, use candles or other symbols. It is also important that we find the right music, readings and theme for the day. The families of both bride and groom can also be considered for the part they can play on the joyful day.
Each wedding is personal for each couple. The minister sees the importance of spending time in discussing all the details that allow their wedding day to be a happy and relaxed occasion. We also offer opportunities for Wedding Blessings and renewal of vows.
We make no distinction between those who have previously been married, nor between those who have a particular faith or no faith affiliation.
The Minister will be pleased to conduct a ceremony of blessing and celebration for all loving relationships.
We have various other special services during the Christian year. We celebrate Easter, Pentecost, Harvest and have a special Remembrance Day Service. Communion Services are held four times a year and are open to all who wish to participate. In the lead up to Christmas, our Carol Service, is a special highlight with a brass ensemble and a choral group – not to be missed! We look forward to welcoming you!Sunday
As a society, we don’t like to wait. Technology has ensured that we don’t have to delay any pleasures or activities. We don’t wait for the seasons anymore, if we want strawberries in December we can have them, if we want a particular flower for a flower arrangement, we can import it in even if it is the wrong climate for this country.
We do still have to wait for birth, yet we can plan the date and time when it is most appropriate and if a woman wants a child when she is past child bearing age, that is also possible.
Society offers instant products and in consequence will also tend to think that everything can have a quick fix solution. I believe that this quick fix attitude is very harmful for my own life experiences have taught me that things that happen quickly don’t often last. For we have to adjust and adapt to change even if it is what you want. And I think faith is like that too, we cannot have a quick fix faith.
If we have a religion that tells us everything will be alright as long as we join, that is a false faith, for none of us can say what will come into our lives. We all have to face misfortune or ill health at some point in our lives. That is part of being a human being.
We cannot be given a faith, just like we can’t be given good health or a permanently happy life.
If we want to have a healthy body, then we must care for it, exercise and eat the right kind of diet, and this is a life time plan, not a quick fix.
If we want to have a faith, we must also have a life plan. The major component is to be able to love, to love God and each other. And this is often more difficult than cutting out the cream cakes or making ourselves go for a run. Yet when we make a commitment to a faith, we can change our lives, not quickly but very slowly, as we develop more understanding towards each other, more compassion and a far happier state of mind which doesn’t want or need a constant supply of material goods.
Love is a gift from God, we must try to see the potential of loving, to see it as a personal obligation. To make it our ideal so that it is part of our very being.
Can you find the time to be happier, can you give yourself time to be at peace with yourself and all those you know. Can you? Or do you prefer the quick fix?
Sunday Services are simple and easy to follow, and are a mixture of singing, closing our eyes in prayer, and listening to readings and a short talk. Services usually last about an hour. We hope you’ll join us for tea, coffee, biscuits and fellowship (friendly chat, nothing heavy) afterwards.
Visitors may find it helpful to know the following in advance.
We begin the service at 11.00 by standing to sing the first verse of ‘Be Still for the Presence of the Lord’. The words can be found inside the front of the red hymn book. They go like this:
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy one is here
Come bow before him now
In reverence and fear
In Him no sin is found
We stand on Holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy one is here.
We light a candle at the beginning of the service and extinguish it at the end. This symbolises the divine presence with us.
There are usually four or five hymns. We stand to sing and sit down straight away afterwards, except for the last hymn where the congregation remains standing while a few words of benediction (blessing) are spoken and the candle flame is extinguished. Occasionally our ‘pop up’ choir will sing while everyone else listens.
There will be a point in the service where members of the congregation share news, joys and concerns. Feel free to join in but please don’t feel that you have to.
There is an ‘offertory’ where donations are placed in a wooden box that is brought round. If you are a taxpayer and you’d like us to collect gift aid on your donation please use the envelope that should be near to you as you sit in the pews. If you are not able to make a donation this morning please don’t worry. There are many reasons why people ‘pass’ as the collection comes round, for example not having cash with them, or making online donations in other ways, so please don’t feel embarrassed.
We are blessed with two very fine organists, and there will be a point in the service where they play a piece of music for us to listen to and maybe reflect on something within the service, or our own private thoughts, prayers and concerns.
We’d love you to join us downstairs for a drink and chat afterwards but we quite understand if you need to get away. No one will quiz you about your beliefs or pressure you into anything. We are a friendly, relaxed and caring congregation, and we look forward to seeing you next time.
For any newcomers we hope to see you again but regardless you will leave with our warmest wishes