West End Methodists

In 2008, against a backdrop of rising costs and falling income, a decision was taken to put the West End Methodist Chapel building up for sale. It was to be another four years before the chapel would pass to its new owners: on 31st October 2012.

This chapel, third of the Methodist chapels to be built in the village, was dedicated in 1877. It was designed to hold a congregation of up to 500 people.

Like many other buildings of that era, the parts that you didn’t usually see were built of red brick, whilst the public-facing facade was built of white brick with sandstone and red brick trimmings.

Early in the 20th century, the harmonium, which had provided the accompaniment for hymns, was replaced with a pipe organ that was located in the gallery and supplied with air from bellows that were installed on the ground floor.

In the four years of uncertainty between the For Sale announcement and the final exchange of contracts, a comprehensive photographic record of the architecture, fixtures and fittings in all parts of the buildings was obtained.

Permission was also granted to photograph the final Sunday Service, which took place on 14th October 2012. During those final four years recordings of concerts given by Lockwood Brass and by organist and pianist Barry Cope were also made.

The first of the Methodist chapels had been dedicated in 1812 on the opposite side of, and just a few yards up, Green Road. Thus, the west end of the village had been home to the Methodist community for exactly two hundred years.

%d bloggers like this: