NEW Song Network, based in the town, became the newest Methodist Church in the country.

The church launched last month with 43 new members and The Rev Jackie Bellfield was commissioned as its minister.

At their opening service, The Rev Lucille Rogers, superintendent minister of the Sankey Valley Circuit, led the commissioning of the church and its minister.

The church, based at Bold Street Methodist Church, was born out of the New Song Cafe which was started five years ago and grew to meet once a month with more than 170 worshippers.

Miss Bellfield said: “What has surprised us is the strength of people’s passion for wanting to be engaged with New Song. This has become their church. It is a brand new church and a brand new congregation. It exceeds all we could possibly imagine. It is so exciting and we look forward to the future.”