Here are the crucial dates and associated events or people throughout the History of our church prior to 1900. If you are interested in further information on any listed then click on the appropriate words or dates that are underlined and this should take you to a more detailed page.
1747: The May 11th diary entry of John Wesley states 'I preached at noon about a mile from Ashton and in the evening at Staley Hall.'
1782: Wesley's April 4th diary entry includes 'I preached at noon in the new preaching house at Ashton to as many as the house would hold. The inscription over the door is 'Can any good thing come out of Nazareth, come and see.'
1788: Wesley's April 10th diary describes that at 'about noon I preached in Ashton to a loving and lively people and then went on to Oldham.
By the mid 1800s a well established
Wesleyan group of Christians regularly met
Also at this time, a group of people known
as 'Hallelujah Bands' were travelling the
1865: Whitsunday. A Hallelujah Band walked from Sheffield to Ashton and held a gospel service in the town hall. It was well attended and this included a Mr William Western, a local butcher whose shop was in Bow St. He heard the gospel for the first time and was converted.He joined the Wesleyan Church in Stamford St (believed to have been situated a little farther up Stamford St towards the West End and on the opposite side of the road to the present Methodist Church) William was well known in the town for his heavy drinking habits and upon conversion he immediately felt a deep concern for the salvation of his drinking pals.
William soon realised that he should not be evangelising alone and got together with other Christians from all the denominations of the town to discuss how to influence others for Christ. The outcome of the meeting was the establishment of ’The Ashton Evangelical Mission’.
1875: On 16th March The Ashton Evangelical Mission became the Christian Brotherhood Mission.
1882: The Christian Brotherhood Mission had developed to the point of needing a Mission Hall of its own and on Whitsunday 28th May the Old Cross Mission was opened. It was to be led by Mr William Western, 17 years after his conversion.
1882: 1st July. The Old Cross Mission sent out invitations to the women involved in prostitution around the town. Over 100 attended to hear Mr Christian of the London Midnight Society preach the word.
1886: On 11th May William Western died and a group of trustees took on the responsibility of leading the Mission. One of these, Mr
Stedman, had ancestors still involved in the leadership of the church a century later.