History

 

It has been said that Stamford is the finest stone town in England. Its history goes back a long way and much of that is visible today in the fine buildings and monuments that still exist. The Methodist Church is situated within the town Conservation Area and Barn Hill is one of the most attractive streets in Stamford.

 

The first Methodist Church to be built in Stamford was at the rear of No 10 Barn Hill and opened in 1803. The building had a fine stone façade including some oval panels of Faith, Hope and Charity. After some years, galleries were added as well as new pews and gas lighting. An extension was added in 1863 in the 'Italian' style as the church continued to grow. In 1882, No 11 Barn Hill was purchased and then demolished to make way for a new church building in front of the old one.

 

The new church was substantially built of local stone, but one feature which could not be afforded was a spire (planned to be in stone and Collyweston slates) though the base was constructed and is to the left of the main doors. Inside, the church conformed to the normal plan of Wesleyan churches with galleries on three sides wrapped around the central pulpit. This was on wheels and so high that the preacher was almost level with the galleries.

 

The opening of the new church took place in November 1886, when it was noted that the total cost including all fees and acquisition costs was £3,000. The old church became the Sunday School, which at this time numbered 400 pupils. A Norman & Beard Organ was installed in the new church in 1908. It was overhauled by T Aistrup in 1988, when a fifteenth stop was fitted to the Swell Organ in place of the Bourdon. The Great Organ had five stops, the Swell eight and the Pedal Organ three. There were four couplers, a tremulant and four combination pedals. The organ was removed in December 2004 to make way for refurbishment of the church. It was sold to the Church of St Rocco in Matera, Southern Italy and was replaced by a Makin Westmorland 34 electronic organ.

 

The old church at the back was refurbished in 1929 with the addition of a second storey, a new roof, new entrance and a variety of rooms for Sunday School and public use. Then again in 1984, the schoolrooms were renovated to provide more modern facilities for church and community use. At this time a Time Capsule was buried within the site so that future generations would know of the life and times of the church in 1984.

 

Our buildings were again refurbished in 2005 to provide improved facilities and a more welcoming appearance. In the church the floor and lighting were renewed, the sides of the gallery were removed and the pews downstairs were replaced by chairs. The foyer was opened up to form a multi-purpose area in which we have "The Well" fair trade & coffee shop. A multi-media projection system was installed in the church. In the halls the toilets, offices and storage were improved.

Rev Andy Fyall    01780 762282    andy.fyall@methodist.org.uk

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