Openshaw lies to the east of Manchester, at the heart of one of the most deprived communities in the country. Bradford Ward - the official name for Openshaw - is the 22nd most deprived ward of the 8,414 wards on the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Neighbouring Beswick and Clayton is 17th.
Click here for a satellite map of the area
As the community
has suffered, and people have left the area, so churches have declined
and been forced to close. The poor and elderly who remain in
communities like Openshaw have seen little in their lives to thank God
for, and traditional Christian faith has become, for many, little more
than an historical relic.
Through all this, the tiny Baptist chapel in Openshaw, the United Baptist Tabernacle, has remained faithful to its vision of God active and loving, even (or perhaps especially!) in this most desperate of communities. Openshaw and East Manchester are now undertaking a massive regeneration programme, and Mersey Street is regenerating itself alongside the community. Within the church, two families, the McBeaths and the Presswoods, have committed to exploring this new vision of community and ministry together.