Estelle Modes

By early 1913, Christians were holding meetings in a rented room over a shop at the corner of Stockport Road, and Cromwell Grove in Levenshulme. While the shop fronted on to Stockport Road, the entrance to the room above was in Cromwell Grove, hence the name of Cromwell Hall. Many Assemblies and Gospel Halls have taken their name from the road which they are on.

Nothing much is known during the war or for several years afterwards, although it was a small fledging assembly. By the mid 1920s, the assembly was really struggling, and help was given from the assembly at Moorfield Hall, Heaton Moor. As the 1930s dawned the assembly was beginning to grow, albeit slowly.

Mr Percy Smith asked Mr. Tom Shepherd, who still attended Moorfield Hall, if he could possibly help the small assembly for a couple of weeks, while he went with his wife on holiday to Bournemouth. Mr. Shepherd agreed. Mr. Smith never returned to Manchester as he was taken ill with pneumonia and subsequently died. This enabled Mr. Smith to fulfil a life-long ambition to be buried in Wimborne Road Cemetery in Bournemouth, but left Mr. Shepherd with quite a predicament - Cromwell Hall now needed him permanently, but he, with his family, was settled at Moorfield Hall. After much heart searching Mr. Shepherd decided that we would also transfer to Cromwell Hall. This began the hall's long association with the Shepherd family which continues over three quarters of a century later.

Through gospel work, the assembly was built up, only to be faced with further difficulties when in 1939, war was once more declared. It was during the war that Mr. Shepherd's son, Neill, a General Practitioner, married Barbara Waterhouse, from Bramhall. Over the next six years the assembly maintained a very weak testimony, until the returning forces swelled the ranks. Over the next ten years or so, there was great blessing - possibly what some had witnessed on the front line especially in relation to lost comrades, who were also spiritually lost, gave them the zeal to evangelise the area fervently, with Neill taking a vital lead.

The assembly at long last started to grow. In the early 1950s, John and Grace Wyatt, moved from Huddersfield into the area and joined the company in Levenshulme. In 1973 John and Grace established Charnwood in Heaton Moor. They were welcomed as both of them were prolific musicians and loved music. Many will not forget his tuning fork, which he struck at the start of every hymn, as he was the precentor! The small hall was often packed to capacity.

Week after week, the small primitive room above the shop would be packed until it was overflowing - being more than punctual for a meeting was quite a necessity! By the mid 1950s there was growing desire to relocate into larger premises, and assembly began to pray regarding this matter. It would be difficult to move, as many were not that affluent.

History | ESTELLE MODES | Relocation | Marshall Road | Golden Jubilee | Anniversary Address

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