Local people raised subscriptions to build a new parish church for the growing rural population of the village of Crookes (so-called because of the ‘crooked’ main street). The church, which cost £1350, was consecrated by the Archbishop of York on 1st October 1840.
Crookes Baptist Church was founded, with a building on Mulehouse Road.
Due to growth under the leadership of Revd Robert Warren, the church was fully re-ordered with the addition of many new facilities, offices and meeting rooms.
The adjoining Crookes Endowed School was closed down and the church took the opportunity to purchase the building.
The Anglicans and Baptists of Crookes, who had been in discussion for some time, came together to form St Thomas Crookes LEP (Local Ecumenical Partnership). This partnership is now over 35 years old and still going strong!
Following a visit from the well-known Vineyard pastor John Wimber, St Thomas’ Church became a renewal centre, and continued to grow and thrive.
Under Revd Mike Breen and his team, a new millennium saw a pioneering re-structuring of the church, as mid-sized missional communities called Clusters were launched. These contributed to further rapid growth, especially with students and young adults, and led to a new city centre church plant being launched at the former Roxy nightclub.
The clusters continued to grow and develop, reaching around 2000 members, and the city church eventually found a new building at the former Rotary Electric site, becoming St Thomas Philadelphia (now part of Network Church Sheffield).
After the church multiplied, around 150 people were left meeting on Sundays at St Thomas Crookes. Under Revd Mick Woodhead, this church adopted the new vision “Meet Friends, Meet God, Live Life Better” and began to grow once again, particularly with the 16-35 age group. As clear demographics emerged within the church, we became a ‘church of churches’.
A pioneering ‘Campus Redevelopment Project’ to link the church and centre and develop the ‘village square’ led to extensive refurbishment for much of the campus and meeting rooms including the Nursery.
STC College was launched, building on 20 years’ experience of running ‘YAPS’, ‘Tribal Training’ and ‘Form’ discipleship years for young adults.
A major rebrand saw the church become known as ‘STC Sheffield’.
STC now has a mission campus for the city and beyond, and the church has grown to 1000 members.