A Methodist-United Reformed Church Local Ecumenical Partnership
Trinity Church seeks to enable people to explore the Christian life of faith, worship and service in a friendly and welcoming environment.
Website (trinitynewport.org.uk) Facebook page (Trinity Church, Newport)
There has been a nonconformist presence in Newport for at least 250 years. The first recorded chapel was built by Dissenters, and the present building in Wellington Road, a listed building in classical style, was built as a Congregational chapel in 1832, becoming a URC in 1972. Methodism arrived a little later with several chapels in the area giving rise ultimately to the chapel in Avenue Road in 1876. The Methodist and URC congregations came together in 2001 in the Wellington Road chapel as an ecumenical partnership creating a single congregation. A major refurbishment programme was undertaken in 2008, creating a light airy flexible building with a modern link corridor joining it to the adjacent function rooms. There is a good audio system with loop and projection system. The pipe organ, the only one surviving in Newport, is highly regarded for the quality of its construction and tone; it has been fully reconditioned and is used at all of our services.
The church is about a quarter of a mile from the centre of town. Newport is an attractive market town, now absorbed administratively into the Telford and Wrekin district but maintaining its distinct identity.
(Picture: Steve McShane / Newport High Street / CC BY-SA 2.0)
The town is within easy reach the population centres of Telford, Stafford and Wolverhampton to which many of the residents commute daily. There is easy access to the M6 and M54 with main line rail services to London or the north within easy reach in Stafford. There has been extensive housing development in recent years and the population has grown rapidly, currently being estimated at around 12,000. Many students from the nearby Harper Adams University also find accommodation in the town during term time. The town is noted for the excellence of its schools which include both comprehensive and grammar schools. Telford was designated as a new town about 50 years ago and has grown steadily with many new industries and housing estates. There is a regular bus service from Telford to Stafford via Newport, providing a useful link to the shopping centres and railway stations.
There is a modern spacious manse within a few minutes walk of the church.
The church has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. As with many churches its congregation is predominantly in the older age groups. Most of the members live nearby, either in Newport or the surrounding villages.
As an LEP the congregation includes a wide range of viewpoints. We mostly worship in the traditional style. We currently have 61 people on the membership list with around twice that number on the pastoral list. On a typical Sunday the morning service attracts a congregation of around 30.
A small number of children attend in the mornings and depart to their own session after a short time in the main service. A creche for young children is available as required
We use Singing the Faith as our hymnbook. When a minister is not available our services are led by local preachers or members of the congregation.
There are numerous weekday activities including a popular parent and toddler group (currently suspended), a sisterhood, a regular Saturday morning coffee morning for church and visitors alike. We have a choir which practises regularly and takes part in Sunday worship. Activities evenings (currently suspended due to Covid) are held from time to time on Saturdays and include organ concerts, choir performances, beetle drives, talks etc.
Contact has been established with local schools where members assist through “Open the Book” with assemblies and introducing young people to bible stories. Each summer we hold a week long Holiday Club for young people, attended with enthusiasm by some 30-40 children.
The building also provides a valuable community asset, being well used by Guides, Brownies, Rainbows, Tai Chi , church Art Group, local Choirs, AA , children's fitness group, Diddidance, drama group, and other groups for occasional use. The Church is particularly valued for concerts, as there are few other suitable venues in the town.
The church is involved with Churches Together in Newport and takes part in joint services at Easter and Christmas as well as in leading services at local care homes.
We have a Church Council consisting of 12 leaders (including Church Secretary and Treasurer), the minister with a representative of the West Midlands URC Synod and the Telford Methodist Circuit). The Council meets 4 times a year, often simultaneously with the Church Meeting.
We have various informal committees covering aspects of Church life such as worship, mission, pastoral, property, finance, children and young people, communications. These groups are open to anyone interested but each is attended by at least one leader. They meet as necessary and make recommendations to the church Council and/or the Church Meeting.
The Church family is an open, friendly community, encouraging and supportive towards each other and welcoming towards visitors. The congregation is responsive to those leading worship.
Many of our Church activities, such as Toddlers, Coffee Mornings and the group making prayer blankets, are run on a volunteer basis and a high proportion of the active congregation is involved in these. Members are much involved in running all our church activities and likewise in many forms of service outside the church.
Our regular gift aided income covers our Circuit Assessment. Members are now encouraged to contribute by regular banker's orders. Our finances are relatively healthy and together with rental income we are able to cover maintenance costs of the building.
Vision for the future:
We believe we have a distinctive contribution to church life in Newport. There are many opportunities and needs in a growing community like ours and we would like to see the church reaching out more in appropriate ways in answer to those needs, and in the process strengthen our fellowship. We continue to take an active role in Churches Together in Newport.
Whenever the time for ministerial rotations approaches, we would hope to welcome a minister who would inspire us to change, progress in our understanding of the message of Jesus, help us crystallise our thinking and develop our work in our community.
We look for someone who, loving God, will love us and our town, someone we can love and take to our hearts.