The Methodist Church for Prescot & Whiston

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors . . .

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HISTORY OF METHODISM IN WHISTON

 

The earliest recorded date of a Methodist Church in Whiston is 1832. This was the Wesleyan Chapel at Whiston Lane Ends, situated opposite the Horseshoe Hotel on land where pensioners flats now stand.  The date stone from the old Chapel was preserved in the latest building.  There are, however, records of Methodists meeting in a barn in Whiston as far back as 1810 but no Society as such seems to have existed before 1832.

The Wesleyan Chapel at Lane Ends was a two storey structure with the Schoolroom at ground level and theChapel situated at first floor, with seating for approximately 120 people.  It was in continuous use from 1832 to 1957.

There are many early records from the Chapel and the Baptismal Register records entries from 1840 and contains the names of many well-known families still connected with the Church and other churches in the Circuit.

In 1835 there was dissension within the Wesleyan Church.  At Whiston a number of members were expelled from the Society.  However they kept together and worshipped in a building behind the main street in Whiston, somewhere in the vicinity of the present Labour club.  They had to move our of this building which was later sold to the Church of England.  A piece of land was later bought from Richard Willis and a small Chapel was built near to the footpath which leads to the footbridge over the railway and where the former St. Nicholas Church Hall stands.  The total cost of the building was £280.

In 1955 it was believed that the Whiston Lane Ends and Cross Lane Societies should come closer together for work and witness. After much prayer and discussion it was agreed the two Churches should unite.

Fortunately in 1936 the Cross Lane Church had built a new Sunday School next to their Chapel and at the time of the amalgamation it was decided that this be converted into a dual purpose Church.

The amalgamation of the two Churches to form the new Whiston Methodist Church took place on Saturday, 5th October 1957.

In 1961 a new hall was added then in 1967 the trustees proposed the dual-purpose Church Hall be used mainly for Sunday worship.  A scheme was eventually prepared which involved turning the building round inside, re-opening the original entrance and forming a new vestibule with clear glass doors so that the interior of the Church could be seen from the outside.  The original windows were replaced, new pews made and modern lighting installed.  The work was done entirely by the Whiston Church members themselves.

Worship continued and a strong fellowship was maintained until the circuit deemed the building unsafe and would not give permission for the money to be spent on  repairs.

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