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about us

Welcome to the Bethel in Hanley. For over two hundred years our church has been here as a lantern of hope in the heart of Stoke on Trent, a place of welcome, of grace and of the love of God in Christ Jesus. Our full name is Bethel Evangelical Free Church, which is a bit of a mouthful, but a very meaningful one.

The name “Bethel” means, “The House of God” in Hebrew. It comes from the Bible, where it was given to the place where Jacob saw a ladder connecting heaven and earth on which angels ascended and descended. The Lord Jesus Christ is the one who connects heaven and earth in himself, God with us.

“Evangelical” comes from a Greek word that means “Good news”, and is often translated “Gospel” in English. The Gospel is the good news that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16), and it is the central message of the Bethel. The Gospel message is not a philosophy or a plan, but a person, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

“Free” is a great word. Freedom is something that people talk about a lot, but the sad fact is that people are enslaved by sinful desires and false gods. Jesus said, “If the Son shall set you free, then you are free indeed”, and that is a central part of the Gospel, that we are set free by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The word “Church” means not a building, but an assembly of people, a community centred on God in Christ.

The Church is located on the corner of Hope Street and Newhall Street. When it was opened in 1812 the chapel was called Hope, and Hope Street was named for it. A lot has changed since 1812, but the message has not, Jesus Christ is still the only hope for the world.

We are a welcoming, Christ-centred Church in Hanley, at the centre of Stoke on Trent in the Potteries in North Staffordshire. Since 1812, we have been a lantern of hope in the heart of the city.
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