We are a thriving community church surrounded by farmland in the Forest of Dean. We have a strong family and community focus, believing that the family is the most fundamental anchor in today’s society and we are all designed to live in community. We seek to be a place where we can worship together and enjoy fellowship with God, leading us into a deeper relationship with Christ and each other.
Whilst we don’t like ‘jargon’ as it often means different things to different people. We would consider ourselves bible-based, evangelical and gently charismatic. We are members of Churches Together and the Evangelical Alliance. We also have close links with New Wine and the Vineyard group of churches.
We are legally constituted as a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) with trustees who hold the church accountable from a legal perspective.
We have a Core team who give spiritual direction and oversight and a Leadership team who take responsibility for different areas of ministry.
Our history began with Squire Morgan and his family in the 1880s. They were evangelical Anglicans with a deep concern for the people of the Parish of Tidenham and in particular for those living in Woodcroft and, these being the distinctly rural areas where they most felt a need to evangelise. Scattered though the community was, the work they embarked upon at Woodcroft prospered. With people coming to worship from a wide area by whatever means they could, but mostly on foot or by horse and cart. Today the car has replaced the cart but the countryside is still much as it was back then.
It was in 1889 that the Morgans bought a plot of ground at Stroat and in that same year erected a corrugated iron building that soom became known as the Iron Room. As the years rolled on Stroat became independent of Woodcoft, continuing to bring the Gospel to all within its own neighbourhood. Among those who came to the Iron Room were many young people who seemed to enjoy just being there.
In 1950 the Reverend W Hill and his wife were appointed to lead the work at Stroat and under their ministry it flourished and the Church continued to grow. After seven years, however, Rev Hill moved on. By then the Church had become known as Stroat Mission and in 1957 a new Minister was appointed, the Reverend Leslie Musgrove.
A man of deep conviction, Mr Musgrove had come from the Protestant Truth Society. Just as he was settling in, disaster struck! The village stands between the River Severn and the A48 with the water table never far below the surface. One night there was torrential downpour, the water level rose and soon the waters reached window sill height! Serious setback though the flooding was, the work soon resumed much as before. A little later he realised how difficult some of the more elderly people were finding to get to the Church
The idea struck him that it was for the Church to help provide transport. Rubery Owen, a Christian Industrialist, came to the rescue and soon a van was fitted out, a forerunner of today’s minibus. With this Leslie Musgrove set about picking people up and what a blessing it turned out to be! After some years, however, Rev Musgrove moved to London to take up a new position. It wa then that Mr Ken Cracknell of Beeches Farm, Tidenham Chase shouldered the responsibility for the work. Under the faithful leadership of Ken and his wife Mary the work continued unabated.
In 1963 the Reverend Alan Wright was invited to the ministry of Stroat and believing it to be the call of God, he, Mrs Wright and their family moved into the Manse. Despite more flooding and a disastrous fire, the wrok continued to prosper. The Sunday School grew vigorously and soon the Church needed two minibuses to pick up the children from all the neighbour. Eventually, Mr Wright retired after over 20 years of faithful and spiritual ministry.
After a while, the Reverend Colin Tamplin joined the Church, which a little later became known as Stroat Evangelical Church. Colin served for five years before moving to Monyhull Church, Kings Norton, Birmingham, were he is still pastor. The Church continued under the Eldership of Mr Ron Edmond Senior until the eventual appointment of Nick Baldwin who led the Church for just over 5 years before leaving to complete a further degree course and then moving to pastor a church in Tring, Hertfordshire. Chris Rees was inducted in Aug 2004 and joined us with his wife, Ho Soon, and 2 boys Dan and Jon. In April 2017 Chris and Ho Soon moved to London to pastor Westminster Community Church.
As a Church we have now endeavoured to serve the community for nearly 130 years and for this we give the glory to God. Now known as Stroat Church we are still a thriving place with vision and by His Grace we trust the work will continue until He returns.