A CHURCH in Bury has celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special service.

Bury Unitarian Church, in Bank Street, marked the 40th anniversary of its dedication service, which united three congregations of Bury Bank Street, Chesham and Heywood.

The church has had roots in Bury since 1719, when the first congregation met close to the site of the present church.

The original church was English Presbyterian in theology, and the congregation eventually embraced Unitarianism.

The current church was opened in 1974 at a cost of about £85,000, which replaced the old church which was demolished in 1969.

Anne Mills, chairman of the congregation, said despite this history, many people were not aware of its existence.

She said: “There has been a church on this site for 400 years. We don’t have a catchment area because as there are no houses or people living near, we can not say this is our parish.”

The congregation celebrated the milestone with a service conducted by the Reverend John Allerton, the husband of the current minister Beryl, and the original minister at the new church, where he served for 34 years.

The church was given a colourful makeover to mark the anniversary, with two large planters filled with 40 bulbs to represent each year of the life of the church.

Another celebratory service will be held on June 1. For more information visit bury-unitarian-church.org.uk