The building we meet in was built in the mid-1960s as a parish hall for St John’s Church, Woodley.
However it was in 1991 when the real history of Emmanuel Church began as a community of people. Emmanuel was “planted” by a team of 11, mainly from St John’s Church, which included 2 Church Army evangelists, Richard and Mandy Priestley.
The main feel of the original church was one of a family. The intention was to expand this family by encouraging loving, Christian relationships and building bridges with the local community.
Richard and Mandy left in 2001 and Lyn Comerford, a non-stipendiary (unpaid!) minister, led the church until 2003. In 2003 Emmanuel Church had its first full-time vicar, Jon Honour. Under these leaders, the church grew from 70 adults and children to approximately 120 adults and children.
Sean Riordan arrived to take up the reins in September 2008 after Jon moved on to become a vicar in Guernsey.
Although it is wonderful to have more and more people coming to church, we believe that quality is more important than quantity. Therefore maintaining and developing the friendly welcome, the vibrant worship, the bible-centred teaching and a compassionate concern in and for the local community lies at the heart of our vision as we look to the future.