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Our History

Christians have worshipped God in Ashton-on-Mersey for hundreds of years. A settlement is mentioned in the Domesday Book and there are also indications of a Saxon Chapel. In 1304 the parish of St.Martin's was founded.

Towards the end of the 19th Century there was a growing realisation of the need of a second church to serve Ashton on Mersey. The decision to build St.Mary Magdalene was a bold and courageous step. It was even more remarkable since there was a heavy financial burden of rebuilding and equipping the schools in the village at the same time. On top of that the population had not yet arrived! There is evidence that the fields around the church were used for growing rhubarb. St.Mary's was originally know as 'The Church in the fields'. Our predecessors were building for the future.

Ashton on Mersey and Sale were about to witness a huge population growth served by the Bridgewater Canal, the Roman Road (Washway Road A56) and Flora the first engine on the Altrincham to Manchester railway line (now the Metro line).

Since St.Mary's was founded in 1874, the church has never stood still; the ministry and worship have been constantly enhanced and extended. The vision, 'To be a growing church' is in our spiritual DNA.

The churches impact on the community has been obvious through the work of the church schools; All Saints Mission Hall in Somerset Place; a Nursing Home in St.Mary's Road (which later moved to Sandiway Road) and local almshouses. Over the years, the church also employed a community nurse and other full time staff to serve the locality.

In 1968 the Church Hall was built and was of huge benefit to church and community.

More recently the Church Centre has proved to be the catalyst for growth in the life of the church. Many community groups use the building and we use the buildings to invite people to join our activities and worship.

Sale West Community Church was established by a number of local churches of different denominations in 1971 as people were being relocated to the Sale West estate from central Manchester. St Mary's first provided a full-time worker for the church in 1974 and more formal links were developed in 2001. The church has continued to flourish in recent years and now has about 100 members.