Category Archives: Chadkirk Chapel

Well dressing for beginners

Preparations for this summer’s Chadkirk Festival are well in hand. There are opportunities for people to get involved…

Each year the Festival begins with a ceremonial unveiling of St Chad’s Well. Our well is dressed each year by a team of enthusiasts. Members of the team include those with years of experience, real skill and artistic flair. They develop a unique design, reflecting current themes and then explore ways of realising the image.

In addition to the more experienced members of the team, there is always an opportunity for others to take part in the process of creation.

On Wednesday 1st July at 7pm there will be a chance to gather in Chadkirk Chapel and learn more about this year’s design and be part of it’s assembly.

Then later in the month in the days before the festival, you are welcome to join us to complete the process.

On Wednesday 22 July and Thursday 23 Chadkirk Chapel will be open between 10 am and 4pm. Join us for an hour or for a morning or afternoon. Or spend a day or two. Then enjoy seeing the fruits of your labours ceremonially unveiled on Sunday 26th July at the start of Chadkirk Festival 2015.

The design for the well dressing for 2013 was based on the newly installed East window

The design for the well dressing for 2013 was based on the newly installed East window


Chadkirk Well Dressing 2013
The team of craftsmen towards the end of a long day's work. Photo: Artemisia

The team of craftsmen towards the end of a long day’s work.
Photo: Artemisia


Well dressing Chadkirk Festival             Photo: Colin

Festivities at Chadkirk : 7th December Carol Service

This weekend there’s the traditional Carol Service in the Chapel.

On Saturday some of the team will be in the Chapel at Chadkirk adding a festive touch to the interior with some decorative adornments.
On Sunday 7th December there are two services.

At 3pm Will Hunter of Woodley Methodist Church will lead the singing.

At 4-30 pm Andy Bull of St Mark’s Church, Bredbury will take the celebrants through the service.

It’s a beautiful setting for the service. A chance to feel some awe and wonder. Or some joy and gratitude. Though please wrap up. The heating system in the Chapel might also feel historic, so if you’d like that feeling of joy to reach fingers and toes, then gloves and thick socks will help!

Please note: As space is limited, entrance is by ticket only.
Tickets are issued via Staircase House, on a first come first served basis.

For this Sunday’s services, these tickets have all been allocated.
For 2015 watch this space for notification when tickets are available for the next opportunity to join the Carol Service at Chadkirk Chapel.

New window on the world

Each year has it’s own rhythm, unfolding with the seasons, something of the expected, some times new or different. 2013 had the seasons alright, though as Eric might say… not necessarily in the right order. Snow and sharp frosts in April. Wild garlic carpeted the woods in June. Leaves on the trees in November. Amongst the variety of our British weather and climate, most of us will remember 2013 as the year we had a summer. The best since 2006.

Marigolds in summer sun. Photo: Artemisia

Marigolds in summer sun.
Photo: Artemisia


Photo: Artemisia

Photo: Artemisia


August in The Walled Garden. Photo:Artemisia

August in The Walled Garden.
Photo:Artemisia

At Chadkirk this meant that the Walled Garden was lush with blooms and the new window was installed in days of glorious sunshine, ready for it’s timely unveiling at Chadkirk Festival 2013. True it rained on the big day. For some of the time. And while this meant that there were fewer visitors overall than for last year’s festival, many danced their way through the sunshine and shower mix.

For those who managed to squeeze into the Chapel for the unveiling, a special moment was shared. Mary unveiled the window with her great grand-daughter. After spending her early years living at Chadkirk in the farm house next to Chadkirk Chapel, Mary has been one of the most active of Friends, giving time and energy with enthusiasm and generosity. To see a family spanning four generations, linking from the first decades of the twentieth century to the second decade of the twenty-first century, heart-warming and encouraging. In caring for Chadkirk and it’s Chapel, a unique and extraordinary place is here for us all to share and enjoy.

Although I arrived at the event after the official ceremony, I was able to catch Mary afterwards.Here she is (with civic dignitary).

Mary (after unveiling)

The new East Window was celebrated in the 2013 well dressing design.

Chadkirk Well Dressing 2013

Well dressed window

October: Harvest Supper and Harvest Festival

Now that we’ve passed the September equinox, there’s a slow, sure letting go of green. There’s the rich warm colours of berries and autumnal hues of leaves. There’s mellow mists. And there’s the comfort of gathering in the warm indoors as evenings darken.

In addition, here at Chadkirk, there’s the traditional gatherings in the Chapel, which in their own way offer warmth as the sun’s trajectory shifts to cool. This year both the Harvest Supper and Harvest Festival have the added attraction of the new window. If you’ve not been able to view the beautiful design and colours in the East Window, joining in may have an extra zest. I’d guess that the rich reds and ambers of the stained glass will resonate perfectly with the autumn leaves on the trees of Kirkwood, framed by the new window.

Harvest Supper and Harvest Festival take place on the last weekend in October.

Friday 25th October HotPot Supper and Quiz Night.
The Quiz night and HotPot Supper take place in the Chapel, starting at 7.30pm.
£5 a ticket: there will be HotPot, with Apple Pie to follow and the chance to win prizes in the Quiz and/or the raffle. There are 60 places. Tickets are on sale now. Any profits go towards the window restoration and other projects. The Friends of Chadkirk use these funds enhancing the Chapel and gardens at Chadkirk.

To book a ticket phone: 0793 478 0117
Leave your name and number, a Friend will call you back.

The Harvest Festival Service takes place on the following Sunday in the Chapel.
The service begins at 3.30pm on 27th October. This year’s service will be led by Andy Bull of St. Mark’s, Bredbury.
No tickets are required. This is a traditional celebration of the bounty of the earth and, in keeping with this, donations of cash or food are very welcome. Contributions and collections will go to Wellspring, Stockport.

The Wellspring – Home.

In October, days for doing a bit of tidying in the gardens at Chadkirk are Saturday 7th 2-4 pm and Thursday 17th 10-12. Volunteers welcome. Many hands make light work.

*Colour* Light * Connection*

The new East window is a beautiful addition to Chadkirk Chapel.
Designed to enhance the sense of place and resonate with the landscape of Chadkirk, it allows light in and views out to the wooded hillside beyond the Chapel.

Yesterday the window was unveiled at the Chadkirk Festival 2013.
The photographs below show the team of local craftsmen working to install the window.

Chadkirk Chapel: Work in progress. On Monday 22 July, work on the new stained glass window and preparation for the well dressing. Photo: Artemisia

Chadkirk Chapel: Work in progress.
On Monday 22 July, work on the new stained glass window and preparation for the well dressing. Photo: Artemisia


Installation of the first window panes of the East Window, Chadkirk Chapel.  22 July 2013 Photo: Artemisia

Installation of the first window panes of the East Window, Chadkirk Chapel.
22 July 2013
Photo: Artemisia


Steve and Rob put the finishing touches to the new window. Photo: Artemisia.

Steve and Rob put the finishing touches to the new window.
Photo: Artemisia.


Steve secures the work with putty. Photo: Artemisia.

Steve secures the work with putty.
Photo: Artemisia.


The cross of St. Chad, East Window, Chadkirk Chapel. Installation completed July 2013. Photo: Artemisia

The cross of St. Chad, East Window, Chadkirk Chapel.
Installation completed July 2013.
Photo: Artemisia


Steve adds the finishing touches. Photo: Artemisia

Steve adds the finishing touches.
Photo: Artemisia


The team of craftsmen towards the end of a long day's work. Photo: Artemisia

The team of craftsmen towards the end of a long day’s work.
Photo: Artemisia

Watch this space

By midday the old window is gone and the new frame is being installed. Photo: Artemisia

By midday the old window is gone and the new frame is being installed.
Photo: Artemisia

Once the newly installed East Window is unveiled I will be posting photos of the window here.

Watching the craftsmen at work on Monday and hearing more about their craft added to my delight in the finished work. So while the photos are not available before Sunday, in the meantime I can share a few snippets.

The window is made from handblown glass.

It is made up of over 500 pieces of glass cut by master craftsmen in their Derbyshire workshop.

The coloured centre piece has 170 pieces, 9 beautiful colours in a stunning design.

It took 180+ hours to cut all the glass and assemble the design before transporting it from the workshop in Doveholes to install in the Chapel at Chadkirk.

Went to know more about the stained glass? Talk with Steve Parsonson of Classic Glass Studios at Chadkirk Festival 2013.

The bespoke wooden frame and moulding is hand crafted from specially seasoned oak.

The mouldings around the window echo those in the adjacent timbers in the original beams of ancient oak.

The oak is protected by beeswax sourced from the bees of Chadkirk.

Arnie, the beekeeper, collected the beeswax from our hives in The Walled Garden. He passed it to Austin, the Master Cabinet Maker who made the frame. In a nice bit of serendipity, Arnie is a Master Cabinetmaker (now retired). Both Arnie and Austin can be congratulated on their attention to detail and in making this small yet significant link between garden and chapel, past and present, life and art.

Looking to learn more about the window? Talk with the team of craftsmen on Sunday 28 July. The team will be at the unveiling and then available to chat. They have stalls on the lawn, near to the entrance for the festival site: Austin Neves, Master Cabinet Maker and Steve Parsonson, Stained Glass Artist. Together their teams have produced a beautiful addition to Chadkirk Chapel.

Watch this space.

By midday the old window is gone and the new frame is being installed. Photo: Artemisia

By midday the old window is gone and the new frame is being installed.
Photo: Artemisia

Chadkirk Chapel Monday 22 July 2013

What’s going on ?

Chadkirk Chapel: Work in progress. On Monday 22 July, work on the new stained glass window and preparation for the well dressing. Photo: Artemisia

Chadkirk Chapel: Work in progress.
On Monday 22 July, work on the new stained glass window and preparation for the well dressing. Photo: Artemisia

Both the Well Dressing and the new East Window will be unveiled at the Chadkirk Festival during the afternoon on Sunday 28 July 2013.

Countdown to the festival…

Throughout this week the Chapel and kiosk will be open from 11 am to 3 pm.

Monday: Installation of Stained Glass Window

Tuesday: Well Dressing – making the clay mould

Wednesday: Well Dressing – decorating the clay mould

Thursday: Well Dressing – completing the decoration

Volunteers are welcome to come to Chadkirk Chapel and take part in the Well Dressing.

At 12.00 midday on Sunday 28th July the Well Dressing will be unveiled. This annual event marks the start of the Chadkirk Festival.

As an additional attraction this year the new stained glass window will be unveiled during the Festival.

East Window Project

Chadkirk Chapel-altar and east window         Photo: Artemisia

By midday the old window is gone and the new frame is being installed. Photo: Artemisia

By midday the old window is gone and the new frame is being installed.
Photo: Artemisia

Preparing the frame for the new stained glass window. Photo: Artemisia

Preparing the frame for the new stained glass window.
Photo: Artemisia

After measuring up, the frame is in places and the panes of glass can be inserted. Photo: Artemisia

After measuring up, the frame is in places and the panes of glass can be inserted.
Photo: Artemisia

At the end of a good day's work - 6.30 pm and the job is nearly finished.  Photo: Artemisia

At the end of a good day’s work – 6.30 pm and the job is nearly finished.
Photo: Artemisia

Short sighted or forward looking?

A comment from a resident:

I am sure there will be few areas within the council that are not subject to change and re-organisation. This is where the problem lies.
I have been a resident near Chadkirk Country Park for more than 10 years and have seen many improvements to the Estate. When I first moved to the area, having only lived several miles away, I did not know it even existed. The estate, at the time had a tenant living in the house; the farm and surrounding fields were, to put it politely ‘un-kept’. Shortly after the tenant had moved out we were given an Estate Manager.

With the tenacity of the Estate Manager, John Rowland, we have overcome many problems and I say this as a ‘we’ because John has become very much part of the community, not just working the estate and seeing his position as merely a job but more of a vocation.
He is an integral part of the Estate; well liked and over the years has gained the respect of both visitors and resident alike. He has a holistic approach to Estate Management, involving all of the people who visit the Estate, offering help and advice, always having time to chat about future plans projects, wildlife etc. Some of the issues that have been overcome include: vandalism, arson, antisocial behaviour, fly tipping and dangerous dogs to name a few.

As already mentioned I have seen many improvements over the past 10 years, the Estate now is a Safe Environment – people feel safe, many people walk on their own especially ladies, one lady I met said she felt safer walking around the Estate than walking through Romiley.
The Estate has been awarded Green Flag Standard, the grounds and paths are well kept, wide enough to cycle and access for the disabled making the Estate a fully inclusive area. The increase in wildlife this could be due to several reasons – natural and man-made habitats, attracting rare birds, butterflies, moths and reptiles. I have also noticed over the years a massive increase in the number of people who visit the Estate. Many come from all over Cheshire, Lancashire and surrounding areas, so the Estate is obviously appealing to the wider community.
Also over the past 10 years the Estate has been designated a Local Nature Reserve, some parts have Conservation Area status, the whole estate is in a ten year Higher Level Stewardship agreement managed by English Nature (awarded for what has been achieved and the vision for the future) and two of the fields (Chapel & Wild Flower Meadow) have just been designated SBIs (Site of Biological Importance).

Without having a permanent resident on the Estate, with a vested interest in the up-keep of the Estate this would soon fall into disrepair, ruining all the hard work and monies the council has already put into place to make Chadkirk Estate a pleasurable place to visit. In short it will end up costing the council more money to correct/fix or pay for added security.
I feel it would be short sighted of the council to make drastic changes to this gem. It is truly a jewel in Stockport’s Crown and we need to fight to save it, for all to enjoy.