Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Hyde Central Methodist Church

Services in connection with the Wesleyan Methodism Society appear to have been conducted in Hyde around the year 1811. The services were held in various places, chiefly in private cottages. Early in 1815 a building at the corner of Cross St and Water St was secured. Later in 1821 a larger chapel was built on a plot of land facing Water St, Port St and Milk St. This was later enlarged to incorporate a day and Sunday school for the large increase in children of the rapidly growing cotton trade employees. By 1850 it was necessary to provide a larger building and a plot of land was acquired on Norfolk St.
The opening service at Norfolk St was held on Friday April 18th, 1851. After the opening of the new chapel, the Water St building was used entirely for Sunday and day school purposes.
Fast forward to the 1980's, when it was decided to demolish the old building on Norfolk St and re-build a modern church virtually on the same site. The old building was demolished in 1988 and literally hours later work started on the new church.
A large gathering of members assembled in the pouring rain to see two of the oldest members of the church, Mrs Mollie Dobbs and Mr John Charlton laying the foundation stone. The foundation stone was carved with a clock set at 8-45 pm, the supposed time of John Wesleys conversion to Methodism, along with the words " Praise and Thanksgivings", which appeared on the first Methodist church, built in Bristol in 1739.

The old building on Norfolk Street in the 1980's
Laying the foundation stone for the new church in 1988

The new church in 2012


Anonymous said...

Just a few comments about Sundays post on Central Methodist. John Charlton laying the foundation stone was my dad. He had been a lifelong member of the Methodist church. He originally belonged to George St. Methodist (as did my mum where they met and married). My brothers and I went there also as kids until in the late 1950,s when George St. amalgamated with a number of other churches to form Central Methodists. George St. church was demolished as most of that area was to make way for the motorway.
I was married in the Norfolk St. Church in 1968 and then emigrated to Vancouver Canada (I enjoy your blog every day). The rest of the Charlton family are still very active at Central Methodist.
Sadly my dad died at the hands of Harold Shipman the following year after the picture was taken.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon... I'm glad that you saw your dads picture on the blog !
I used to attend the Youth club at Central Methodist in the mid 70's - Great days :)

Susan Jaleel said...

This is a lovely post and I really appreciate the photo of the old Norfolk Street chapel - a barn of a place if ever there was one! I've preached in the new building several times and on one visit I remember there was a wonderful display of memorabilia which Dorothea and John Charlton had brought along. I recognised such a lot of faces from the past.

You mention the clock on the foundation stone, set at 8.45 pm. This marked the time of John Wesley's conversion on 21 May 1738, whilst he was attending worship in Aldersgate Street, London. His conversion, however, was not to Methodism - Wesley lived and died an Anglican clergyman - but a spiritual conversion when he found his heart "strangely warmed" and believed in God for his salvation.