The first few years of the new century were not the best time for the congregation. In spite of the optimism expressed in the final chapter of Frank Field’s history, the early promise of Hazelwood Road did not come to fruition. Some members moved on, and others passed away.
But some hope remained. Our member Sue Woolley started to lead services regularly in 2005, became a GA-recognised Lay Preacher in 2007, and was accepted for ministry training at Harris Manchester College Oxford in 2009. For the last three years, she has led one service a month, which has enabled the small but loyal congregation to maintain our fortnightly programme of services.
The last couple of years have seen three new members join the congregation, and with them we have gained new heart. In the late Summer of 2015, we finally bit the bullet and decided to start a serious search for more suitable premises. Our prayers were answered very quickly, when we viewed Viridian House (now our new home) on 15th September. After that, matters progressed very swiftly, and we moved into our splendid new Meeting House on Friday 11th December, holding our first worship service two days later.
On 1st January 2016, Rev. Sue Woolley starts a quarter-time ministry with us, so we are hoping that 2016 will be a year of change and growth. The story goes on.