The present Methodist church, at the top of the High Street, was built on a plot of land purchased from Powys Estates for £470 in 1863. Thomas Hazelhurst of Runcorn, a notable Cheshire businessman and generous benefactor to Methodist Chapels and schools, laid the foundation stone, and the church was officially opened on 2nd December 1864. The cost of the chapel, with its imposing stone frontage and spire, and designed by the eminent Victorian architect George Bidlake of Wolverhampton, was £2,300. It seated 600 people, and soon Methodism became the leading denomination in the town. Although not a listed building, it is situated in what is now a Conservation Area.Substantial alterations were made in 1970, when the gallery and pews were removed, and a false ceiling was installed to conserve heat.
The church of today, whilst not as strong in numbers as in those heady days of the late 19th century, is still an active witness to God’s love, with morning and evening worship (and Afternoon Tea services during winter months), a weekly Coffee Morning for Shoppers, Jubilate Singers’ rehearsals and Parent and Toddler Group on Mondays, Bible Study Group on alternate Tuesdays, a Craft Group on Thursdays, Friendship Lunches on alternate Saturdays, a monthly Friday afternoon Fellowship Group and a Bring and Share Lunch following morning worship on the 1st Sunday.
The premises are also well used by some 20 local groups and organisations, and the church itself is the venue for regular prestigious classical music concerts arranged by Welshpool Music Club.
In 2016, the church completed a £200,000 redevelopment scheme, updating and refurbishing its premises to better serve the needs of both church and community in the 21st century. The installation of a lift now serves a refurbished 1st floor multi-use room to accommodate 40 people for worship, meetings, conferences, exercise classes and other events, and externally, a designated parking bay and drop-off area, with ramped access into the rear of the premises, has been created. The kitchen has been extended and re-fitted with new units and appliances to comply with Environmental Health requirements for food safety, and all the toilet facilities have been upgraded. In the worship area, the pulpit has been removed, new carpet fitted and the chairs replaced, opening up the church space for multi-purpose use. Improvements and enhancements to the High Street frontage include replacement doors with glazed panels, new handrails and notice boards.
These refurbished and upgraded premises should serve both church and community users well into the foreseeable future as High Street Methodists continue to “Celebrate and Share God’s Love” with all.
Janice Rhodes 2016
Forthcoming Activities in 2017:
Farewell to Rev Sue on Wednesday 19th July 2017, 7pm at Welshpool.
For further details of Welshpool Methodist Church click here.
Building Enhancement : both the refurbished toilets and the newly extended and refitted kitchen have been completed.
For photographs of the Gallery etc please click here. The church has been refurbished with new lighting, additional heating, new carpet and chairs, and a new AV system has been installed. The sanctuary area has been opened up with the removal of both the pulpit (being adapted for use as a movable preaching lectern) and the communion rails (now adapted for individual use as required): also being adapted for use as a new Communion Table and movable Lectern/Flower Stand .
The above photographs of
Summer Supper Concert for Charity (ALL WE CAN, formerly Methodist Relief and Development Fund) - Jubilate Singers and Community Uke, are showing the versatile use of re-vamped church and worship area
1940s weekend Saturday Lunch, to view a selection of photographs please click here.
The Jubilate Singers have been privileged to be the only choir in Wales to present Roger Jones' new musical "Barnabas" during its 2016 UK Launch Tour. Choral parts were learnt prior to the event, with Roger and his soloists arriving for Saturday lunch, before afternoon rehearsals and evening performance. Roger and the CMM team stayed overnight to lead an inspiring morning service the following day.
Weekly Coffee Morning on Mondays, from 9.30am, with Bric a Brac and Secondhand Book Stall.
Jubilate - 10.00am to 11.15am on Mondays.
Parents and Toddler Group, Mondays 1pm to 2.30pm.
Friday Fellowship on third Friday of the month at 2.30pm.
Saturday Friendship Lunches on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 11am until 2pm.
Walking with Friends (meets the 2nd Saturday of every month). The group's first walk, from Fairbourne over the bridge to Barmouth