Newchurch Methodist Church

In the heart of the Rossendale Valley

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History of the Church - National Children's Home Edgworth

Written and Researched by Joe Teasdale

In 1869, the Methodists began to take a more systematic interest in providing for homeless orphan children; and Rev. T. B. Stephenson, B.A., undertook the direction of the work with a zeal and ability which ensured success. It was in 1874 that Dr. Stephenson paid his first visit to Newchurch and took part in a service of song, in connection with a special Trust Service. During his visit, he spoke of the new social work which he and a few friends had undertaken. His whole heart was full of the project, and he undoubtedly impressed some of the Sunday School Workers of that period with his earnestness and enthusiasm. Each year since 1875, this Church has held a special service, where an official from the Home comes to give a talk, and from which the collection goes directly to the National Children’s Home.

In 1882, two of the teachers, Mr. W H. Coupe and Mr. J. E. Lord took their class of boys to Edgworth, near Bolton, to visit the branch of the N.C.H. which had been started there 10 years earlier; this being the first of many visits by our Church to the Home, and, in return, the children used to visit us and give a concert.

The Children’s Home Secretaries connected to our Church since 1875 have been:

Mr. John Riley
Mr. J. Rowland Hill
Mr. Cecil Birtwhistle
Mr. Maurice Whitehead
Mr. Rowland Colbert
Mr. Arnold Lord
Mr. Geoffrey Colbert


Extracts taken from

Newbigging’s History of the Forest of Rossendale.
Jessop’s Methodism in Rossendale


My grateful thanks to the following people who have given willingly of their knowledge and time to help me to compose this history.

Ken Bowden The staff at Preston Records Office.
Alice Riley Rawtenstall Reference Library
Alison Fell Robert Teasdale
Maureen Sutcliffe Jack Sunderland
Delia Heap Keith Brennand
Fred Rothwell John B Taylor
Margaret Everett (Hill) - for use of a few of her Father’s photographs


And to my wife Jean for her patience.

Joe Teasdale