Special events

Your church may well have further ideas to add to this list of ideas for additional events to the Christian special services of Easter, Harvest and Christmas.

Event ideas

  • First World War Commemorations 2014 to 2018. There is much taking place across the country. We have been particularly asked by the War Memorials Trust to encourage completion of the War Memorials Online. This register of memorials allows for comments on the condition of a memorial and to add photos and comments.
  • Heritage Open Days September annually; 7th-10th September 2017. Is your church involved in this annual nation-wide event celebrating local heritage and culture? Has your church considered how to make this event more missional by giving visitors the opportunity to learn about what it means to be a Christian and what their church has to offer? You may like to purchase low-cost resources to give away, for example, a gospel of Luke.
  • Ride+Stride September annually- the next one is 9th September 2017. A sponsored walk or cycle between churches which raises funds for a church of your choice and our county church trust, Historic Cheshire Churches Preservation Trust
  • 500th anniversary of The Reformation, 1517-2017

  • 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, 2nd November 2017, which stated British support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people- modern Israel. Christians and biblical teaching were instrumental in the events leading up to the Declaration, going right back to the Reformation.

  • Village/town festivals. Be part of the local festival, for example the town's Arts Festival or summer festival

  • Event or trail linking churches together in your area. For example, 'Stitches and Stems' festival took place in our Diocese in July 2017, linking three Anglican and three Methodist Churches in south Cheshire on a weekend trail to see life-size knitted scenes from The Bible in each church (see photo above from Wrenbury)

  • Special events programme, for example, music concert series, programme of talks, guided tours, fun day and so on

Events planning

Stories worth sharing

Heritage Open Days

‘By hosting days like this, we bring memories alive, rekindled friendships and form new relationships with local people’. Edgeley and Cheadle Heath, St Matthews

Around 25 of our churches usually take part in Heritage Open Days (HOD). HOD is England’s biggest voluntary event to bring local history and culture to life.

How does my church take part?

Churches in the Diocese who have previously taken part in HOD

  • Astbury, St Mary
  • Aston, Runcorn, St Peter
  • Bebington, St Andrew
  • Birkenhead Priory
  • Birkenhead, Christ Church
  • Bromborough, St Barnabus
  • Congleton, St Peter
  • Chester, St John the Baptist
  • Chester, St Oswald
  • Chester, St Peter
  • Chester, Newtown, Christ Church
  • Daresbury, All Saints
  • Dodleston, St Mary
  • Edgeley, St Matthew
  • Hyde, St George
  • Farndon Parish Church
  • Macclesfield, St Michael and All Angels
  • Malpas (Shocklash), St Ediths
  • Neston, St Mary and St Helen
  • Neston, Parkgate, St Thomas
  • New Brighton, St James
  • Stockport, St Thomas
  • Stockport, St George
  • Tarvin, St Andrew
  • Walton, St John the Evangelist
  • West Kirby, St Bridget

Quotes from churches in the Diocese who have participated in HOD

  • Congleton, St Peter's.  ‘We have taken part for many years. In the past we have had major displays, using the talents of our flower arranging team, e.g. focussing on aspects of the building (using a booklet called Look Around You produced by SGM Lifewords), links with the town (Mills &Monuments), aspects of faith and heritage – Marriage, Baptism. Major displays encourage people from the town to visit. Some themes e.g. marriage, can encourage the community to become actively involved (photographs, wedding dresses etc.). Being part of the HODS website brings visitors from further afield.  It has raised the profile of St. Peter’s in the town’.
  • Edgeley and Cheadle Heath, St Matthew's. ‘Our HOD was to encourage local people to visit church and view parish records from St Matthew's, as well as two closed churches, St Mark's and St Augustine's. We produced a simple guide book to allow people to explore the church, had displays of memories from around the parish (including a display marking the marriage of the parents of Fred Perry, Wimbledon champion, who were married at St Matthew's). We also invited a local history society to have a display of postal and war memorabilia and an expert on a local Cockleshell Hero.  As we were open for most of the day, people felt relaxed and able to stay and chat (and even come back again after work!) One lovely lady found an old photograph of several of her brothers which she hadn't seen before, most of them now having passed away so she was very moved (we copied the photo for her to keep and sent a digital copy to her son).  Imagine our surprise when we also discovered a hand-written note of thanks to the church from Winston Churchill! St Matthew's is working hard to break down barriers and have a greater involvement in our local community. Recent conversations have reminded us of how many people feel personally attached to St Matthew's as "their" church. By hosting days like this, we bring memories alive, rekindled friendships and form new relationships with local people’.
  • Stockport, St Thomas'. ‘We were open this year Friday 10.00 - 2.00 pm, Saturday 10.00 - 2.00 and Sunday noon - 3.30pm. Friday is enhanced by the visit of the local school and the big attraction for the children is having the opportunity to ring the bell. Including the children we had just short of 200 people. The event gives people from the local area and much further afield a chance to visit and explore the church. Interestingly last year one of the things people were really taken by was the old service registers and the extensive collection of photograph albums. We are grateful to be able to have the organ playing throughout many of the open sessions. As always, we noted that some individuals returned a couple of times during the weekend to continue their exploration. As well as the set piece displays, I think people enjoy a chat to talk to and question members of the congregation who are around in a low key and friendly way. St Thomas's is famed for its cakes and marmalade and they are both readily available throughout the weekend’.
  • Aston, St Peter's. ‘We have taken part in the Heritage Open Day for many years at St.Peter's Aston. The grave of Chloe Gambia is in our churchyard. Chloe was a slave girl who came to Aston Hall at the age of seven and died aged 76 having been the housekeeper for some years. We have a leaflet available giving details of Chloe's time at Aston Hall. During the Open Day our church historian Phillip Littlemore is on hand to answer any questions about Chloe and our church building. We combine the day with a Coffee Morning and Book Sale and also serve Afternoon Tea. We liaise with Halton Council Tourist Department and are included in their brochure. We receive quite a lot of visitors especially to look at Chloe's grave. Three years ago we had a coach party from the Maritime Museum in Liverpool to coincide with their Slavery Exhibition.’