Greetings to our Circuit friends,
In November, our church in Bedworth is looking to celebrate a very special Anniversary, our 175th. Celebrations will be very limited and postponed to a better time, but we thought it would be good to share a little of our history in photos and text with you all.
Anyone who has visited our church may be under the impression from the look of our building we are quite 'young' but this is not the case. We know from records and comments made by a Rev. R. Watson in 1800 that a Methodist society existed in Bedworth and he was denied permission to preach because they felt his doctrinal views were at fault!
Our church first began worshipping in a small cottage in one of Bedworth's many 'yards' in the 1820's, moved on to a private house in 1830 and went from strength to strength until they were able to purchase land on the present site in 1844 for £101.10 shillings. The total cost of the new church being £850. It was opened in Autumn 1846 by Dr Beaumont the theme of the address being
" I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting' 1st Timothy 2, v.8., the effect was said to be electric and the congregation could not refrain from applause"
The church went from strength to strength, growing both in numbers and size and we have attached some photos from around the turn of the century.
Over the years the church grew and with spiritual enthusiasm and much fund raising, alterations were made – memorial stained glass windows, a grand organ, a new Sunday school room to accommodate the two hundred attenders and 25 staff and a new entrance. The congregation were proud of their achievements through the years and then in 1941 disaster struck, the church they loved was destroyed by fire overnight, not by wartime activity as you might think, but by faulty electric wiring, the fire going unnoticed for some time due to blackout blinds at the windows. The congregation was devastated and for the next few years relied on the good nature of other local churches for accommodation. Again, spiritual enthusiasm and much fund raising led to the opening of a new church being built and opened in 1953.
Throughout the years two extensions have been added and many changes made internally and externally until the present day as in the photograph right. This brief history of course, only touches on the past life of our church. Following an appeal at our 150th Anniversary we manage to acquire quite a few photos and documents of interest and albeit a very amateur history, what we have put together is quite interesting. Maybe when this pandemic has passed, we will be able to have an open day and display what we have and some of you could visit.
We have to thank our early church members for their choice of site for our church, we are placed at the heart of the town centre and over the years this has proved very beneficial from the points of mission, fund raising and 'visible presence'. We give thanks to God that we can continue the work of early Methodists and are happy to be able to continue to serve our community in many ways. Our members have run clubs and support groups of various kinds over the years and we look forward to opening up our doors again as soon as we can, this includes our regular coffee mornings, which have been running for 38 years, and are sadly missed by Bedworth folks.
We remember with love and gratitude all those who have sustained our church in the past and hope that we can continue their good work in the community of our town. Please remember us in your prayers, pray the Lord will continue to give us strength and purpose to continue to share his love with those we meet in our everyday life.