Daily Mass, Rosary, Benediction, lots of incense were part of the regular fare at St Benedict’s, Ardwick until a few years ago. Sadly the local community around the church declined in number, and the congregation diminished. The church closed, and is now in our neighbouring parish of St Luke’s Longsight. So what has happened to the building?
Three of us went along from church to visit – and whom should we meet there but Year 6 children from St Chrysostom’s School. (Actually we’d planned to see them!) The children were having a go at climbing. St Benedict’s has now been transformed into the Manchester Climbing Centre. The outside remains as it ever was, but inside a remarkable transformation – climbing walls, changing areas and a cafe. The children were enthusiastic and did remarkably well in climbing up the specially made high climbing walls.
We were less energetic and enjoyed watching from the mezzanine cafe.
Philip writes: Although it is always sad to see a redundant Church, it was great to see that fun, joy, laughter and happiness are well and truly still alive at St. Benedict’s Church.
In fact the lively, inspiring and engaging atmosphere of Manchester Climbing Centre brings people from around the country back inside the walls of a Church. Maybe St. Chrysostoms should get a climbing wall to!