is an evangelical
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...
, charismatic Anglican church in Cheltenham
Cheltenham , also known as Cheltenham Spa, is a large spa town and borough in Gloucestershire, on the edge of the Cotswolds in the South-West region of England. It is the home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup, the main event of the Cheltenham Festival held...
, Gloucestershire. As well as being part of the Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...
, it is a major contributor to the New Wine
New Wine is the largest UK network of charismatic churches and Christians. It originated in 1989 as a Christian festival run by two Anglican clergy from St Andrew’s Church Chorleywood: Bishop David Pytches and the Rev. Barry Kissell...
network. The Church has around 1500 members, making it one of the largest churches in the UK. A recent article cited it as the 11th largest church in Britain.
The church holds three celebrations on a 'normal' Sunday, two in the morning (9.15am & 11.15am), with Kidz Church for 0-10 years, a youth group (re:encounter 11.15am & after the 6.00pm service) for 11-15 years, and one in the evening (6.00pm). There are lots of mid-week meetings covering a variety of needs. Details of times and locations may be found on the church's official website http://trinitycheltenham.com/
The main church building is located on Portland Street, Cheltenham. The church also owns Trinity House and its offices are located in Winchcombe House.
Senior Leadership and Staff
Trinity also employs a number of staff employed on a full or part-time basis and all of its events and activities are facilitated by a large number of volunteers.
As well as the Sunday celebration each week, the church members participate in a large array of mid-week activities, which include the Alpha Course
The Alpha course is a course which seeks to explore the basics of the Christian faith, described as "an opportunity to explore the meaning of life" . Alpha courses are currently being run in churches, homes, workplaces, prisons, universities and a wide variety of other locations...
, 'King's Table' , 'Tandem', Sports Teams, Clusters and Small Groups, and Kids' and Youth activities. Trinity Cheltenham are also a key church in the New Wine network where Mark Bailey is on the National leadership, Neil Bennetts leads the worship and the whole church hosts the New Wine Central and South West Regional conferences and networks.
Trinity Church came into being in 1824 as an overflow from the Parish Church in the town centre. The first minister was the Rev Francis Close
Francis Close was the Anglican Rector of Cheltenham , and Dean of Carlisle from 1856–1881.-Biography:...
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...
of Cheltenham and later Dean of Carlisle Cathedral, after whom the Dean Close School
Dean Close School is a co-educational independent school in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. The school is divided into pre-prep, preparatory and senior schools located on separate but adjacent sites outside Cheltenham town centre, occupying the largest private land area in the town...
was named. The Church was opened with an address from the Rev Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon , was an English evangelical clergyman.He was born at Reading, Berkshire and educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge. In 1782 he became fellow of King's College, and took orders, receiving the living of Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge, in the following year...
About twenty-five years ago, Trinity Church was on the point of closure. However, under the ministry of a retired missionary and prayers from the remaining nucleus of people, change slowly began to happen. The threat of closure was removed, and under two subsequent vicar
In the broadest sense, a vicar is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior . In this sense, the title is comparable to lieutenant...
s the church continued to grow and start to reach out into the community.
Mark Bailey came to lead Trinity in 1994, and since then the church has seen an exciting move of the Spirit of God, resulting in extended growth. There are now in excess of 1,500 people who worship on a regular basis.
Since 1994 the church has undergone a major refurbishment: pews have been replaced with chairs, carpet fitted, and the décor changed to enable greater flexibility in the building's use. In 2000, Trinity House
, the three-storey building immediately behind the church, was purchased. The additional space has greatly increased the opportunities for ministry. It is used for a variety of mid-week activities and for Kidz Church on Sundays.
Continued growth presented logistical problems, and by the end of 2004 the church started holding multiple services each Sunday. In January 2005 the 'Trinity Growth Project' was launched and most of the staff and administrative team moved out of Trinity House to offices in Winchcombe House. In 2008 the church purchased the Fusion Building next to Trinity House on Winchcombe Street, and in 2009 has begun a refurbishment of the main church building to increase the capacity to nearly 1000.
The church's PCC
The parochial church council , is the executive body of a Church of England parish.-Powers and duties:Two Acts of Parliament define the powers and duties of PCCs...
have discussed options for handling the continued growth in church membership. The latest plans include a £4m adaptation of the existing buildings to accommodate 1000 worshippers at a time, with improved facilities at Trinity House.