Consecration of the New Chapel
Thirteen months later an announcement in the Stockport Advertiser informed the public that on Wednesday the 2nd of July 1834, the church of St. Thomas Norbury would be consecrated to the worship of Almighty God, according to the rules and ceremonies of the United Church of England.
A journalist, in the prose style of the period, reported that the day dawned fine and clear. A large crowd gathered, all manifesting the utmost anxiety to witness the proceedings, and all conducting themselves with the utmost propriety and decorum.
At a quarter before eleven o'clock the Lord Bishop of Chester, John Bird Sumner, arrived and was received at the door of the church by the clergy and several respectable gentlemen residing in the neighbourhood.
During the service appropriate hymns were sung by the children of the Norbury and Disley Sunday Schools and the Lord Bishop delivered an excellent and impressive sermon from 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 19:
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
The congregation then dispersed, highly gratified with the scene they had just witnessed, while the Bishop, clergy, and many of the respectable inhabitants sat down to a choice dinner at Torkington Lodge, served up by Mrs Wood from the Red Lion.
The day was not without its sadness, for during the afternoon Mr. Worsley made the first entry in the Burial Register. Sarah Boston, aged 28 years had been laid to rest in the churchyard. Her short life span had been brought to a close by the scourge of that time, consumption.
Statements in the press and other announcements had led the public to refer to the building as a church, and it came as a surprise to many and a disappointment to a few, that it still retained the same status as its predecessor at Mill Lane. Norbury still did not have a parish or a parish church. This new building was a chapel within the parish of Stockport with Mr Worsley as the curate in charge. Mr Hesketh Goddard, a local farmer, retained his title of chapel warden.
Although the interior of the chapel was described as chaste and simple, the truth is that simplicity bordered on the bleak and bare when compared with the dignified beauty of the present day scene. Furthermore in the winter it was decidedly cold in the building for there was no heating system.
(10) Richard Orford was superintendant of Disley sunday school and wrote a Spiritual Catechumen for the use of Sunday Schools. He sat on the Norbury land enclosure enquiry. He lived for a time at Torkington Lodge.