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History

A CENTURY OF CHANGE FOR THE PARISHES OF SHEFFIELD MANOR

In 1912, a mission church built mainly of wood was dedicated to St Aidan.  A Sunday School and Mission congregation had been meeting since 1908.  The parish of St Aidan was formally created in 1922 in the wake of the first World War to meet the needs of the rising population.  The City Council was in the process of acquiring more land to the east of the parish for housing, to be called the Manor Estate, taking its name from the remains of the Tudor residence of the Earls of Shrewsbury close by.  The Corporation estate, designed on the principles of the ‘Garden City’ developed from 1923 onwards and the first church dedicated to St Swithun was consecrated in 1929.

Meanwhile, plans were drawn up to build a permanent church for St Aidan’s.  Built of stone quarried at Grindleford, ‘a model of good taste and beauty of expression’ the handsome new church of St Aidan was consecrated in September 1933.  During World War II, the neighbouring church of St Luke’s, Dyers Hill, was severely damaged and the parish was divided between St Aidan and St John’s, Park.  The vicar of St Aidan’s was invited to take charge of the combined districts of St Aidan’s with St Luke’s.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Manor Park Estate, adjacent to the parishes of St Aidan and St Swithun was built in the 1950s.  The Conventional District of Manor Park was formed in 1954 and the William Temple Church was erected and dedicated in April 1957.

The next chapter in the history of the Manor Parishes begins when the Group Ministry of St Aidan’s, St Swithun’s, William Temple, St Paul’s, Arbourthorne and the Park Hill Chaplaincy was formed in 1960, enabling the four parishes to work ‘in cooperation and share resources’.  This ministry later evolved as a Team Ministry in 1975 when it became the Parish of Sheffield Manor.

Three years later in 1978, the old church of St Swithun was demolished owing to poor foundations and the deterioration of the pre cast concrete blocks, ‘a novel material for church building’ in the 1920s.  The congregation was invited to share the chapel of the Manor Baptists until that too was demolished in 1985.  In the meantime, the Manor Wesleyan Chapel suffered severe dilapidation and on its demolition the congregation were encouraged to share William Temple Church in 1982.

Ecumenical relations on Manor stemmed from the organisation of a local Council of Churches in the 1960s.  The sharing of churches for worship led to the inauguration of a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) in 1982, facilitating William Temple to become a joint Anglican/Methodist Church.  In 1986 the Baptists assumed full membership of the LEP.  When the new church centre of St Swithun was erected in 1990, after twelve years without a church, the joint congregation of Anglicans and Baptists were able to worship together.  The Baptists eventually withdrew from St Swithun’s in 2006 owing to a serious decline in membership.

Concern for the state of the fabric of St Aidan’s in the 1990s led to the redevelopment of the building into a Community Church and Centre.  With the support from many sources, the church was totally refurbished – a millennium project achieved for the millennium by Christmas 1999.

In 2000, the future of Anglican Ministry on the Manor was under serious discussion, not only in the Diocese of Sheffield but also by the Churches Together in South Yorkshire.  The outcome was a decision to combine St Paul’s with St Leonard’s, Norfolk Park in 2002.  Today the Benefice of Sheffield Manor comprises of the three district churches of St Aidan, St Swithun and William Temple LEP.

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