Builders busy with the renovation of Macclesfield United Reformed Church got a big surprise when they unearthed a stone kilner jar, dating back to 1876, buried under the polished granite memorial slab set into the exterior of the church.
Assuming it contained ashes, they immediately called the minister, the Revd Marion Tugwood, who knew that the lack of a sealing stone meant it certainly wasn’t ashes – but was at a loss to pin down exactly what could be in the jar.
Revd Tugwood and church secretary and archivist, Margaret Southern, opened the tightly sealed jar and found a poster advertising the unveiling of the memorial stone under which the capsule was buried, five different newspapers, including The Nonconformist, (pictured) The Times and The Macclesfield Guardian, sermons, the 1876 annual report of the church, a photograph of the then minister, the Revd George Allen and architect’s drawings of the church – all in perfect condition.
Revd Tugwood said: ‘It was just so thrilling, a complete surprise – there was no record of it anywhere and nobody in the church knew anything about it. It could have been anything … the annual report is particularly fascinating, but it’s all wonderful, a piece of history.’
The renovation project at Macclesfield URC is in its first phase, and later plans include the building of a connecting passage to link the church with the church hall. They are now planning to include the memorial stone into the new build, together with the 1876 time capsule and a new one for 2010. Revd Tugwood adds; “What to put in the time capsule is currently being hotly debated by our children and young people. They’re really excited by the idea of making history, but no decisions have yet been made, although it will definitely include a copy of The Macclesfield Express!”
The discovery of the time capsule has sparked a lot of interest in the town and, says Revd Tugwood, has enabled the church to establish some new contacts which they hope they’d be able to build on over the coming months and years.
In 1876 the church was called the Park Green Congregational Church and the jar was buried under the memorial stone laid by the then Mayor of Macclesfield, Thomas Brocklehurst.
This feature first appeared on the 1st of June 2010 on the United Reformed Church national website
Wheel Mission – the Itinerary
Posted: 12 Jun 2010 04:18 PM PDT
While we wait for the finalisation of details of Richard’s trip to the southern and central parts of the Synod, here’s a glimpse of the when, where, what and who he will be visiting in the northern half of his trip.
Monday 2 August
Shekinah Centre at Newchurch in Pendle
Tuesday 3 August
Clitheroe: country market and lunch time service.
Wednesday 4 August
Lower Darwen: Prayer Walk and Meditation Group
Thursday 5 August
Visit Darwen furniture store
Penwortham: Ecumenical Service & BBQ
Friday 6 August
Visit to Kirkham Prison including tour and meet with prisoners
Poulton le Fylde
Saturday 7 August
To Condor Green for lunchtime picnic.
Christ Church Morecambe for tea
BBQ at Bolton le Sands
Sunday 8 August
MONDAY 9 August
Carlisle URC on Monday morning
Visit to the CURSING STONE
Lunchtime to Penrith
TUESDAY 10 August
Joint URC / Methodist cooperative Service in Penrith (Richard preaching)
To the West Coast
WEDNESDAY 11 August
Full day of activities on the West Coast, URC / Methodist, Whitehaven
THURSDAY 12 August
To arrive in Dalton-In-Furness by mid afternoon where a picnic is organised.
Evening service in Furness Abbey (at which Richard will preach)
Ceilidh at Trinity Barrow
FRIDAY 13 August
Cycle to Grange-Over-Sands for an activity in Grange organised by the South Lakeland Churches (Kendal, Sedbergh, Grange).
A pilgrimage to Cartmel Priory is planned.
strong>SATURDAY 14 August
To Windermere the Cumbria Area Day at Carver Memorial Church.
SUNDAY 15 August
Barrow-In-Furness to lead morning worship at Trinity, Barrow, with Holy Communion.
Depart for Manchester.