A LONG HISTORY OF FRESH HOPE
Hope Church is the fruit of two churches (The Grange Free Church and North Shrewsbury Community Church) growing together in friendship and calling to serve the communities of north Shrewsbury. Here is a brief outline of some of that history.
The Grange Free Church was founded in 1906 as a Mission Hall and was established as a Church in 1958, linked to the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. The church flourished in children’s and young people’s work in the 1960s and 70s, and in 1977 was confident to call a full-time Pastor to serve the church. Since then it has had four ministers prior to Rev Roy Whittall (whose parents were founder members of the church in the 1950s) serving as pastor in 2000. The membership has always been predominantly local and has never been large but sadly by the time Roy took up his role the numbers had both steadily declined and aged to the point where the future of the Grange Free Church was in doubt.
In 2003 Roy’s son Phil Whittall planted a new church (North Shrewsbury Community Church) in the Sundorne and Harlescott areas, just a couple of miles away from The Grange Free Church. Sent from Barnabas Community Church and part of the Newfrontiers family of churches the new church began to establish itself in the community and grow in number.
Without premises NSCC approached The Grange Free about ways of working together and so the partnership (linked by family ties) began to grow. Through working together in youth and children’s work the bonds of friendship grew and the leadership of both churches began to sense that God was calling them to join together to increase resources and to better serve the communities of north Shrewsbury. A new season was coming and in 2010 Hope Church was formed and launched publicly in 2011.