The STC Story
Our church is over 175 years old. We would love you to read about its history below.
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 American Vineyard church 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. Services were still held at Crookes church too.
The clusters continued to grow and develop, with the church membership reaching around 2000. 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’s leadership, 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 an extensive £1m refurbishment for much of the campus and meeting rooms including the church 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 vibrant mission campus for the city and beyond.
STC launched a four-year “Join Us” vision project under its general heading of “Agenda for Growth”. As part of this, in 2019, the Grow Project was launched – a unique interactive online discipleship resource for the church family.
STC grew to have 1000 people in the church family, with a similar number on the ‘fringe’ of the church. 84% of the church meet in midweek Cell and Cluster communities.
Like many churches across the world, STC has been hugely affected by the global pandemic, but our existing cell/cluster structure helped us make a rapid transition to “Online Church” with midweek groups, Sunday services, Kids Church, Defined youth church and even toddler groups all meeting online. When national guidelines have permitted, we have held live Sunday gatherings and youth groups under strict “covid-secure” restrictions. At Christmas 2020 we livestreamed from the church building for the first time and we are continuing to develop livestreaming in 2021 thanks to new and existing Production Team members.
STC Sheffield has an exciting history and an even more exciting future to make Jesus known in our city and our nation. Thanks be to God!