BURY Unitarian Church is celebrating being a part of its community for an astonishing 300 years.

The church in Bank Street held its first dissenting congregation worshipping on the site in 1719 and a service on Sunday, December 1, marked three centuries of its change and growth.

Musical proceedings saw worshippers from the local community gather together to hear speeches and discussions about the history of the church.

Current minister of the church, Rev. Kate McKenna Brady, who has been in the role since November 2016, said: "As a newcomer to Bury and the church, I was proud to be able to celebrate the occasion with people for whom, in many cases, the church has been their lifelong spiritual home.

"I'm very grateful for all their hard work, their knowledge of things before my time, and their long and ongoing love of the church and the community.

"The service focussed on three centuries of Unitarian witness in Bury, and on the foundations that were laid down by our predecessors in the four buildings that have stood more-or-less on the same site.

"We noted the Unitarian history of progressive religious and social practices, talking about our early acceptance of women ministers and our current welcome to members of the LGBTQI community."

Rev Celia Cartwright, President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, spoke of the "momentous events that occurred in 1719" and said that " we are here to celebrate a community, not a building", before ending her speech with Mr Spock's famous line, "live long and prosper."

Among guests at the service were Mayor of Bury Cllr. Trevor Holt, the Lord Lieutenant of Manchester's Deputy, Barry Dixon and ministers from the church over the years.

A spokesman for the church added: "The church is proud to celebrate its light of love in our awe-inspiring world, at the heart of Bury."

Following the service, food and refreshments were served as church members performed presentations on people and movements of significance in the life of the church.