Past, Present & Future

Trinity Grace Church has been situated at its present address since 1976. The betting shop was the first property to be purchased. Later the sports shop was acquired and in the late 1990s number five was added. In the past 20 years, there have been two major projects undertaken, extending and then remodelling the building to seat up to 150 worshippers at the present time.

The beginnings of the Evangelical Church go back to Summerseat in the late 1950’s. The Primitive Methodist Church, comprising a few godly ladies, invited Rev. Raymond Gregory, minister of Dundee Lane Congregational Church, to help them. The Primitive Methodist building became unsafe due to river erosion and for a period of time the church held their meetings in a car garage on Robin Road. Later the church moved to the Summerseat Liberal Club and then to the old Summerseat Co-op on a ten year lease.

1961 marked a turning point in the life of the Evangelical Church when younger men were invited to attend a Billy Graham crusade – at least two of them were soundly converted to Christ.

The church continued to be very active in its evangelism and under God’s blessing there followed many more conversions. The writer of the article has many fond memories of those early days as I heard for the first time of a wonderful Saviour who loved me and gave Himself for me.

The lease on the Co-op building ran out in 1973 and the leaseholders would not re-new the contract. The church met in private homes for a while and in 1976 moved to its present location.

The Chuch experienced much testing in the early seventies. However, this was followed by times of joyful blessing when several young men and women were converted and added to the church.

After many faithful years of sound biblical ministry, Rev. Raymond Gregory retired in 1998. He lived in the town and continued as an active and valued member of the church until his death in 2013. In May 1998 Pastor Oliver Allmand-Smith accepted a call from the church to be our new minister. Since that time we have seen our eldership established, with Tony Flanders and Rob Stredder added as full time servants of the church.

Our hopes and prayers are that God will continue to build His church in Ramsbottom and that many more will come to know and love our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Jim Hoyle Memorial

Jim Hoyle was an elder of the church for over three decades, having been converted in the early days under the ministry of Raymond Gregory in Summerseat. Jim was a faithful servant of Christ and his people in Ramsbottom and we are deeply indebted to his testimony, especially through some of the difficult times in the 1970s. As you read the order of service and memories booklet below, give thanks to God for his life and seek to be faithful to the last as he was.

Lilian Petch Memorial

Lilian Petch was the longest-serving member of Trinity Grace Church, having been part of the fellowship from the very beginning until her home-call in January 2021. In addition to all the memories recorded in the attachments, some of her favourite sayings included:

If you’re serving God, you should be working not shirking.

I’ve never had a lot, but I’ve never been short.

Do your best for God, because only your best will do for God.

Lilian lived in the faith, died in the faith, and has now gone to dwell with the Christ of her faith. As she is added to the cloud of witnesses, let us all follow in the same faith to attain the crown of glory that can never fade or spoil.

Ernie Westwell Memorial

See our memorial page for Ernie, with memories from his family and friends.

Renée Jones Memorial

Click here to read the memorial page of Renée Jones 1928 to 2017.

Raymond Gregory Memorial

Click here to read the memorial page of Raymond Gregory 1928 to 2013 – The first Pastor of Trinty Grace Church Ramsbottom, his life and his work.

Charles Walker Memorial

Click here to read the memorial page of Charles Walker 1948 to 2016 – A man who loved the Church.

Les Yates - Stepping Down

As Les Yates prepares to step aside from nearly 50 years of leadership in the church, read his reflections here.