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stephen fletcher rector of rivington churchIt is my delight, as the Rector of Rivington Parish Church, to welcome you to this website.

First, a bit of history.

Although there had been a Chapel in Rivington since Saxon times, the present church was built in 1541, and has stood as a valued place of worship and a beacon of hope for those in spiritual need ever since. In 1666, Queen Elizabeth the First – at the instigation of Bishop Pilkington of Durham, who had been born in Rivington – granted a Royal Charter to Rivington Church, together with Rivington Grammar School, originally sited where Rivington Primary School now is across the road from church, but now located on the edge of Horwich as Rivington & Blackrod High School.

In 2016, this Royal Charter will be 350 years old, and to mark the occasion, the current Bishop of Durham is coming to lead a special service, with representatives from the Primary & High Schools present. Over those years, many changes have taken place in both church and society, but Rivington Church has maintained its spiritual life through the Prayer Book tradition that is still our main form of worship here. We are now part of the Horwich & Rivington Team Ministry (with links to Holy Trinity, St. Catherine’s, and St. Elizabeth’s Churches in the nearby town of Horwich) and also of the Blackrod, Horwich & Rivington Mission Partnership (with St. Katharine’s Church in Blackrod), within the Deanery of Deane and the Diocese of Manchester.

The most important thing about a local church is not its building, or the local heritage it contains, because the word ‘church’ originally meant a ‘gathering’ of Christians, and it is the living church community that is at the spiritual heart of a Parish like Rivington, where people come from afar to share in our worship and church activities. Without that living church, there would be no building or churchyard, and it is what this church family can offer you that we hope you will discover on this website. I hope that, whether you are simply looking for a local church to worship in as an occasional visitor, or seeking a spiritual home where you can put down roots, that will find this website helpful, and feel welcome to join us.

Our task is to help you to discover the spiritual reality of God’s love for us all, as we find it in the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the living foundation upon which our church, and every Christian church, must build.

Stephen Fletcher (Team Rector of the Horwich & Rivington Team Ministry) NB – Stephen is on sabbatical leave from 01.09.14-01.12.14, but Rev Michael Behrend (Acting Team Rector), Rev Kim Lafferty (Team Curate), and the wider team of lay and ordained ministers here would be delighted to hear from you or meet you in his absence.