St Wilfrid's Church

Church Links

The Church of England's current vision for education is 'life in all its fullness' (John 10:10), encouraging children and adults to be expansive in imagination, compassionate in character, and unconditional in their love for neighbour. At St. Wilfrid's Church it is a joy to partner with our church school towards this vision, and towards Thrive Church of England Academy Trust's vision of 'Belonging, Believing and Becoming'. We do this in a variety of ways:-

  • we host regular school services, in which pupils take an active part in leading worship
  • we host regular visits to our church building, where pupils can learn more about local history, and grow in their spirituality
  • the school's choir and ethos group participate in key Sunday services throughout the year
  • we play an active part in the school's governance and collective worship
  • we work together on important community initiatives: e.g. food collections for local Foodbanks.

Rev'd. Andrew Bradley
St. Wilfrid's Church, Northenden

Our Church

St Wilfrid’s Church, Northenden

St. Wilfrid's is a welcoming and open community of faith reaching out in love and friendship.

We are a Church of England schools and have close links with our village church and are part of the Diocese of Manchester.

The Church of England has a long and successful history of involvement in education and schooling.  As a statutory provider of schooling, the Church has built a very strong and respected position in England and Wales.

The History of St Wilfrid’s School

The first school in Northenden was a private school and opened in 1661 by William Boardman.  

In C1790 Sharston School opened.  This was in rebuilt 1842 and again in 1864.  It was then sold as a tea room and moved to the now Tesco site in Northenden in 1901.  This then became a National School, which is relevant to the ethos of the original school.  At the time, there were not many pupils.  The capacity of the school was 250, but only 50 pupils attended by 1926. At the time, there was also an infant school opposite St Wilfrid’s Church which also moved to the National School (the building on Ford Lane remained as the church rooms till 1913).

The Methodists also opened a school on Victoria Road in 1901, but this was taken over by the county in 1906 and moved to Bazley Road, now Northenden Primary School.

Also, in 1835, Shadow Moss School/Mission Church was established.  This was demolished in 1961.  

In 1944, a National school was a school founded in 19th-century England and Wales by the National Society for Promoting Religious Education. These schools provided elementary education, in accordance with the teaching of the Church of England, to the children of the poor. Together with the less numerous British schools of the British and Foreign School Society, they provided the first near-universal system of elementary education in England and Wales. These schools were eventually absorbed into the state system, either as fully state-run schools or as faith schools funded by the state.

In 1961, it is possible that the objective of the school could have been changed.

Once Shadow Moss School was demolished in 1961, it is then believed St Wilfrid’s school which was built, was linked with St Wilfrid’s Church.  In 1961, the school opened which was just for juniors because it clashed with Benjamin Sockett’s effort to refurbish the organ at the church.  They couldn’t afford infants as well!  The state therefore built the infant school on Weston Grove, which joined with St Wilfrid’s juniors in the 1980s.

For further information on the history of Church of England schools:

The National Society (Church of England and Church in Wales) for the Promotion of Education, often just referred to as the National Society, and since 2016 also as The Church of England Education Office (CEEO) is significant in the history of education in England and Wales. It promotes church schools and Christian education in line with the established church. Historically it was in strong competition with the nonconformist organization British and Foreign School Society. Both promoted the monitorial system, whereby a few paid teachers worked with senior students who in turn taught the junior students. The National Society was strongly supported by the Anglican clergy, Oxford and Cambridge universities, and the established church. The nonconformist Protestants were in strong opposition. 

Pupils in St Wilfrid's Chruch
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