A local church and charity is celebrating 130 years of transforming lives.
Chatteris Salvation Army Fortress on East Park Street is marking the milestone with a free festival of music given by the Peterborough Citadel Salvation Army Band on Saturday 6 May at 7pm. In addition, The Salvation Army’s Divisional Leaders, Majors Russell and Catherine Wyles, will be leading the evening service at 4pm on Sunday 7 May which will be followed by refreshments for all.
Church leader Major Pat Carton said: “The event will be a wonderful opportunity for our church to thank God for the last 130 years, but also gives us a chance to say thank you to the local community who continue to be so supportive of our work.”
In addition to evening meetings every Sunday, The Salvation Army Home League meets on Monday evenings and there is a lunch club for older people on Wednesdays, followed by the Senior Fellowship. Sally Ann’s Charity Shop in the High Street is run by volunteers and is open on six days a week serving the community.
Throughout the year various events are held including community coffee mornings, BBQs as well as summer and Christmas Fayres. At Christmas, a Toy Service is held to collect gifts for local children who might otherwise go without.
“The Salvation Army is dedicated to caring for our community,” Major Pat added, “but without your generosity we wouldn’t be here today. We would love to see you at one or both of the events being held on our 130th anniversary weekend.”
In 2015 The Salvation Army celebrated 150 years of Christian service. The Salvation Army was founded in London’s East End in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth. Today this Christian church and registered charity is active in 128 countries worldwide.
The work of The Salvation Army in Chatteris started on 29 April 1887. Meetings and church services at that time were held in the Corn Exchange and Captain Moon and Lieutenant Gotobed were the first church leaders. On 26 August of the same year, 60 local people became church members of The Salvation Army.
Work started on the East Park Street ‘Fortress’ on 18 October 1889 with the tender awarded to Mr Reuben Shanks at £340. The new building was opened on 24 January 1890.
Since its early days social action has been central to The Salvation Army’s Christian mission. In 1885 Salvationists successfully campaigned for the age of consent to be raised from 13 to 16 and in 1890 the church and charity opened the UK’s first labour exchange.
Today in the UK and Republic of Ireland The Salvation Army’s work includes more than 800 community churches and social centres offering compassionate support, a listening ear and practical help.
If you would like more information about the 130th celebrations on the 6 and 7 May, please contact Gerald Day on 01354 693518.