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St Andrew's United Reformed Church - Montpellier Street, Cheltenham, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 53.790 W 002° 04.886
30U E 563204 N 5749925
Quick Description: St Andrew's is located on the north west side of Montpellier Street at the junction with Fauconberg Road in Cheltenham.
Location: Southern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/6/2014 3:55:57 AM
Waymark Code: WMKFB4
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 0

Long Description:

A cornerstone on the building is inscribed:

This stone was laid by
Charles Wilson Esq
September 29th1895

"Communi presbyterorum concilio ecclesite
gubernabantur"  Jerome Comm Tit

Thomas Arnold ARIBA Architect
William Jones Builders

The National Archives website tells us:

Cheltenham Chapel, situated between High Street and St George's Place was opened in 1809, by Rev Rowland Hill and up until the mid 19th century was described as being independent and self managed. Ministers of various denominations conducted services. From 1851, the chapel became linked with the Bristol and Gloucestershire Congregational Mission. However, under this new affiliation, the finances of the chapel foundered. Many of the trustees resigned and the chapel was forced to close for services in 1857. The remaining trustees were all connected to the Presbyterian Church and therefore, on 11 June 1858, a Session Meeting decided that the chapel should be reopened as a Presbyterian place of worship. In 1859, a new Minister, Rev Robert Steel, and three new Elders were appointed to manage the chapel, now referred to as St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. In 1874, St Andrew's became responsible for the management of the nearby Gotherington Chapel. With the numbers of communicants continually rising, it was felt that a new church was needed and so from 1875-1886 the main activities of the chapel centred on raising funds for the 'New Church' project. The new church opened in 1886, on Montpelier Street near Bayshill. The old chapel was sold to the Salvation Army in 1894 and the burial ground in the High Street was closed in the same year.

In October 1972, the church united with the Cheltenham Congregational Church and became known as St Andrew's United Reformed Church.

The church is Grade II listed with the entry at the English Heritage website telling us:

Church and church hall. 1885-6. For the Congregation from 'Cheltenham Chapel' (Presbyterian). Architect, Thomas Arnold; builder, William Jones. Rusticated stone with plain tile roof; interior of gault brick with ashlar and red brick dressings. Gothic Revival in Early English style with plate tracery.

PLAN: 3-bay nave with transepts, 1-shallow-bay chancel and 3-stage, north-west tower with octagonal spire.

EXTERIOR: nave has 2-light windows with Decorated-type tracery to heads. Gabled roof dormers. Transepts have 2 cusped lights and rose window to gable. Entrance to west end: steps to double, panelled doors with tooled frieze and carved foliage in tympanum within surround with 2 orders of arches on slender columns with foliate caps. To wither side at west end are single lights with quatrefoils to heads, to next stage a 4-light, pointed window and quatrefoil at apex of gable. Tower breaks forwards, buttresses with off-sets; pair of windows at ground floor, first stage has cusped light, 2-light window to second stage and quatrefoil above. Church hall across east end of Church has two 2-light lancet windows and entrance, panelled double doors in surround with one order of arches.

INTERIOR: aisleless nave and chancel. Balcony to west end has pierced parapet. Pointed double-chamfered chancel arch on corbel columns with foliate capitals. Hammer-beam roof with decorated arch braces. West gallery with a pierced front. White marble tablets, by DA Bond and Lewis of Cheltenham. Church hall: simple roof on pilasters with carved capitals. The Church spire makes a good contribution to the townscape of the area and forms an eye-catcher for Queen's Circus (qv).

The church's website advises the times of Sunday service:

9.30am: Jump4Joy held on 3rd Sunday in the Month

This is a 30 minute family service. It is an informal service set around a bible story which includes singing and artwork. After the service we share breakfast in the hall which gives adults and children time to get to know each other better.

11.00am: Morning Service held every week

This lasts for about an hour and is followed by refreshments. Communion is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of each month. The theme of the service is always made clear at the beginning and will often be based on one or other of the lectionary readings for the week. The quality of teaching is important as is the role of music.

Whilst this service is recognisably traditional in format, great care is taken to ensure that it is accessible visitors and that all feel welcomed and valued.

Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 10/16/1895

Age of Church building determined by?: Cornerstone or plaque

If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: United Reformed

If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Sunday

Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: 11:00 AM

Street address of Church:
Montpellier Street
Cheltenham, Glos United Kingdom
GL50 1SP

Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

Secondary Website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

If Church is open to the public, please indicate hours: Not listed

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