Church to celebrate 140th anniversary with weekend of events

Hesleden Methodist Church is celebrating 140th anniversary. Front, Rev. Susan Richardson
Hesleden Methodist Church is celebrating 140th anniversary. Front, Rev. Susan Richardson
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A church is opening its doors to the community as it celebrates its 140th anniversary later this month.

Hesleden Methodist Church is hosting the special event on the weekend of November 19 and 20.

The Front Street venue has undergone a number of improvements in recent times and Reverend Susan Richardson is hoping that the public will turn out to help mark the occasion.

“It’s a very small congregation that we have of about 10 or 11 people, but we also have a Sunday school with more than 10 children too,” said Rev Richardson, who has been at the church for three years.

“We are basically apart from the school and the working men’s club, the only community site in the village.

“The village hall has gone, the church has gone and so we are used by several different groups as a meeting place.

“The councillors hold their surgeries there, we host children’s birthday parties, we’re used as a gathering place on Remembrance Sunday and recently hosted the village consultation on the proposals to erect a war memorial in the village.

“We’ve sent invitations out and we hope that the public will respond and come along.”

Rev Richardson added that she feels it is important that as well as looking back at the church’s history, worshippers also look to the future too.

“This will be an opportunity for the community to see the chapel as it is now, with a new kitchen and heating system put in.

“There will also be a display of the history of the chapel too. Maybe people will be able to see themselves or their friends and family in some of the photos we have on show.

“It’s not just about looking back though, we have to look to the future too.”

On Saturday, November 19, the chapel will be open from 10am until 3pm for folk just to drop in and see the church’s past, present and future displays and also to chat over refreshments which will be served all day.

A special anniversary service takes place at 3pm on Sunday, November 20, and will be led by Deacon Jenny Heath.

Afternoon tea will follow this service.