Our Church

The Bridge

The Company is part of The Bridge Church, Redditch.
We were part of Headless Cross Methodist Church until a year ago, when we joined with St Luke’s C of E to for a new church called “The Bridge”
If you are travelling along the Evesham Rd, the new church is located in the St Luke’s building...

The area of Redditch in which it is situated is an area where many old people’s homes have been built over the years, and consequently most of the Brigade members have to be transported by car from all over the Town to the meetings.
In 1998 the Methodist Church discovered a very bad attack of dry rot in the vestry on the road side of the building. After taking advice, it was decided that action had to be taken. Due to the shape of the inside of the Church, it was only really suitable for Sunday worship, and not weekday activities (there were two rooms available) The church decided to demolish the church and associated buildings and build a brand new multipurpose building that would better serve the community. After five years of planning, it was impossible to find the right partners to build this new Church building with. About the same time St Luke’s Church of England church, (just down the road, across the lights) discovered they had problems with their building and needed a redevelopment. For a year exploratory talks were held and late 2007 both churches agreed to move forward together, planning to form a partnership, with the aim of becoming one Church on the St Luke’s site,  with new buildings, serving the Headless Cross community. We closed the Methodist Church in September 2009 and worshipped as one community on the St Luke’s site and the new church was called “The Bridge”

The Girls Brigade still meets in the hall behind the Methodist Church building

 

 

Here is a view inside our old church showing the BB colours (Queens, Company & Battalion) on the left and the GB colours (District & Company) on the right, these were always on display in our church, helping to ensure the Brigades are known to be involved in the life of the church.

Below is a history of the church we left behind and one of its memorials written by former BB members.

A bit of history, prepared by David Irving.

Headless Cross was first seen written as ‘Headley’ in 1275. In the early nineteenth century, it was rewritten as Headley’s Cross. This version of the forename of the Church could have been derived from a Saxon Chieftain whose name was Hedda.

 By 1810, Redditch was a circuit with two ministers, however unlike today’s services the services in 1810 sometimes-contained violence or in a few cases unwanted musical interludes.

 “In one church, the entire congregation warmly thanked a Mrs. Turner after dealing with a band of hooligans carrying a fife drum and pans. The gallant Mrs. Turner emerged from the church brandishing a knife! (Which she quickly used to slice the skin on the top of the drum).”

Worship at Headless Cross Methodist Church began in 1820. (Today it would have been in house number 44, Birchfield Road.

 In Headless Cross, the Wesleyans built their first Chapel on Evesham Road in 1827. It was then replaced in 1858 and in1873. However, on the night of Sunday 24th March 1895 not a moment after the caretaker had locked up and left the Church . . .

 “. . . I looked back and saw the tyrannous wind lift the roof clean off the Church within a matter of seconds the entire Church had been turned into a pile of rumble it was if a bomb had exploded . . .”

This was indeed a tragic day for the Methodists attending the Headless Cross Church. Nevertheless the squeaky-clean souls of the Methodists in Redditch that within a year a brand new Church was built.

 The Wesleyan Church did indeed like our Church today a Sunday School and it had an interest in education

Unlucky Lusy

This is the story of a big ship, not quite of Titanic proportions, but big all the same, and the unforeseen fate it had, and in particular one man, a long serving member or the church, to whom a plaque, as seen in the picture, has been placed in his loving memory.

        The man in question is John Henry Harper a dedicated member of Headless Cross Methodist Church. The ship in question is RMS Lusitania. Why was it built? It was built during the arms race that led to the outbreak of the first world war; Germany and Britain were fervent economic competitors, always trying to build better and faster means of transporting goods. Another reason why it was built, was to recapture the “Blue Riband” award, for the fastest naval transatlantic voyage, from Germany.

        Another reason for its construction was the looming take-over by U.S.A. – they were currently buying off many of the world’s largest shipping companies, such as White Star Line, and Britain wanted to prevent its shipping industry from being metaphorically swallowed up.

      It was built by Cunard Line – Britain’s main shipping industry, thanks to a £2,600,000 loan to the company at a reduced interest rate. It was built along with another great ship – the Mauretania, and was designed to be virtually impregnable by gunfire. Construction began in May of 1905 and 14 months later, on June 7th 1906, one of the most advanced and fastest ships of the time was completed, launched by Inverclyde to the amazement of 200,000 spectators.

       The two ships won the Blue Riband award every year up until 1929. The Lusitania was renowned for its luxurious nature, and was particularly popular with the rich.

      On April 30th 1915, the ship was secretly loaded with its normal cargo, and British munitions. At the same time, the German submarine U-boat-20 was ordered to cruise around the British west coast. On May 1st a total of 1959 passengers, all of whom had been warned about the dangers of the crossing, boarded the ship for its 202nd transatlantic trip. When the ship entered the Irish Channel, it was spotted by the U-boat and it fired a single torpedo at the ship . . .

     The ship’s impregnability against gunfire was futile now, and 1198 people perished on the ship as it sunk to the bottom of the Irish Channel. Only 761 people were rescued by boats. Unfortunately, John Harper was one of the unlucky passengers who experienced a watery end, but will be forever remembered by this church. Of course he is not the only victim who is remembered, but he is one of a number of this church, who were sadly lost on that day.

By Adam West

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