Back in the 1850’s, Bayston Hill was just a small village of 200 inhabitants, with, it is recorded, ‘.. a malthouse, four public houses and a cockpit.’ A Primitive Methodist Society was formed in the village that met originally in a local farmer’s house. Eventually a piece of land was bought in Grove Lane and a Methodist Chapel seating 100 people was built there, opening on 27th April 1861. Grove Lane Chapel was called a ‘ second hand’ chapel as it was built with bricks retrieved from derelict coal pit buildings.. and we thought recycling was a modern preoccupation!
Grove Lane Chapel served local Methodists well for over 100 years but by the 1960s the building was clearly becoming inadequate for the growing young population of Bayston Hill and a decision was made to build a new Church for Methodist Worship and weekday activities in Lansdowne Road. The new church was opened on 16th May 1970.
Bayston Hill Methodist Church has continued on that site from that day until the present. The congregation were joined by that of the neighbouring United Reform Church in 1985 when their church closed and in 2010 by a large part of the congregation of St John’s Hill Methodist Church from Shrewsbury town centre when they ceased their building share with St Chads Church.
The enlarged congregation from 2010 meant the Lansdowne Road building was now definitely too small and lacked the facilities needed. A decision was made to enlarge the Church and expand other facilities. This was now possible, largely though the availability of funds from the earlier sale of the St John’s Hill Church premises, although the church family have also made a significant financial commitment too. Work began on expanding and upgrading the Lansdowne Road building in the spring of 2012 and was completed in January 2013.
Whilst the building work was going on the Church temporily moved into the old primary school buildings in Glebe Road.
At the end of January 2013 the Church moved back to Lansdowne Road and our ‘new’ building was rededicated in a special service on 1st February 2013. We are now enjoying the benefits of our enlarged and refurbished building and embarking upon the next phase of the life of Bayston Hill Methodist Church.
BAYSTON HILL REDEDICATION SERVICE
The Rededication Service was led by our own Superintendent Minister, Rev Derrick Lander and Rev John Howard, the District Chairman. We were honoured to have as our guest speaker Rev Mark Wakelin, the President of Methodist Conference. The Service was a wonderful occasion where the building was officially handed over to the Church by the builders and rededicated and where the church congregation committed themselves to the future of Bayston Hill Methodist Church with their best use of the new premises.
The Service was a very special event with a full church, singing that raised the roof ( not literally thankfully!) and an inspiring sermon from Rev Mark Wakelin to challenge and encourage the Church as it goes forward in God’s service from this new beginning.
Below are some photos taken during the evening: