Minehead Methodist Church
Sunday Service at 10.30am
Mondays (during term time)
- Little Fishes Toddler Group – 10am to 11.30am & 1pm to 2.30pm (in the main hall) – open to all parents with little ones under school age
- Click here for details
- Tea and Conversation – 2.30pm to 4pm (in the lounge)
- Open Coffee Morning – 10.30am to 12noon (in the main church) – one session per month is held in aid of a local charity
- Summerland Car Park (3 mins away)
- Alexandra Road Car Park (7 mins away)
- North Road Car Park (4 mins away)
For booking enquiries, you can also call 07849 810235.
- Superintendent Minister: Rev Andy Day
- Rev Chloe Jones
More About Minehead Methodist Church
The History of Minehead Methodist Church
John Wesley, often referred to as the founder of the Methodist Church, visited Minehead twice, in 1744 and 1745. He was on his was to South Wales and this was a stopping off point before is sea crossing.
In 1811 a Society(a common word for a group of people in early Methodism) was formed to meet in a house at Court Place, Bampton Street. In 1850, when a Chapel was built at Alcombe the members transferred there. It was impossible to get land in Minehead to build a Methodist meeting place. This was not at all unusual as it was seen as breaking away from the established Church.
In February 1874 a meeting was held in Mr Lomas’ house (Clevelands, North Hill) under the chairmanship of Richard Groves and it was decided to approach Mr George Fownes Luttrell of Dunster Castle, with a view to obtaining land for a Chapel. Much of Minehead land has been owned by the family for many years. Sites in Blenheim Terrace and Station Road (now The Avenue) were suggested, and the latter was agreed upon at a yearly rent of £8 8s 0d for a 99 year lease. The Committee proposed that the building should be 35ft x 25ft, and should be in a similar style to the Church Schools in Middle Street. Today this is known as the South Aisle, closest part of Church against The Avenue.
Plans were prepared by Messrs Foster & Wood of Bristol and approved by Mr St. Aubyn, the Dunster Castle Architect. Messrs Brown & Hole’s tender for £436 was accepted. At the stone laying in 1875 £200 was raised and Memorial Stones were laid by Mrs Lomas, Mr Corner of Torweston and Mr Brock of Exeter.
In 1876 the Church (often called Chapel) decided to build a vestry and the cost was £152. The opening was held on 15th June 1876 and the Chairman of the Methodist District, Rev SS Rowe, preached the sermon. The porch was added in 1877.
In 1884 a Committee was formed and the Rev H W Haine was appointed Secretary of The Chapel Enlargement Scheme. The Luttrell Estate Steward was approached to obtain some more land and the Architects (Forster & Wood) were asked to send a sketch and later to prepare plans and specifications. Mr John Pearce’s estimate of £1165 was accepted and the contract signed on 12th June 1885. The Church’s new ground and boundary wall cost £1793 17s 6d and by October 1885 there only remained £398 to be raised. The contract with Mr Pearce was brought to an end and estimates to finish the scheme were requested from other builders. Mr J H Langdon estimated £750 – this was accepted, with the addition later of £109 for Bath or Ham Hill stone. Mr A J Foy’s tender of £36 10s for gas fittings was accepted. The new pulpit was given by Joseph Wood, Architect. The opening was on Wednesday 30th June 1886 and the preacher was Rev T Tapley Short from the Exeter Wesleyan District.
Pew Rents – the first front row and the last six pews on side were free. The charge for the others were 1/6, 1/3 and 1/- per quarter. If two people wanted the same pew, it was let to the highest bidder! Each pew would be marked with the family who rented it and woe betide anyone else who tried to sit there!
The organ was built in 1898 at a cost of £350. It is still in use, having had an expensive overhaul in 2006 at a much larger cost in modern money of £36,000. A line of excellent organists have presided at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century. These include George Titterton, Lewis Lintern, Keith Halstead and David Plumb. Currently worship is likely to be led by piano with the hymns and order shown on a projection screen above the alter rail. The audio visual system was installed in 2021 thanks in large part to a significant bequest from Mr David McArthur whose wife predeceased him and both were regular members of the congregation.
The Church buildings are Grade II Listed and as such strict rules apply to any work undertaken. In recent years new toilets were added where the stone wall has to be taken down and rebuilt (stone by stone at a cost of £38,000). The quinquennial report (an examination and account taken of the buildings every 5 years) in May 2002 was frightening to read! Heavy rain would come through the roof, buckets placed in strategic points, umbrellas at the ready! Clerestory windows were in a bad state of repair, the ancillary premises needed updating. Dry rot has been eradicated a number of times. More than £400,000 has been spent since the beginning of the 21st Century, bringing the buildings up to a good standard for the community as well as church use. A more recent quinquennial said, “The premises are very well presented and the Church officers and congregation are to be congratulated.”
The old Sunday School buildings included rooms for teaching, youth clubs and various member groups. During World War II they were used as a day school when space was needed as a result of schools being evacuated to the town. Later some of the rooms were being converted in a Caretaker’s flat. This has now been refurbished as the main offices and base for the work of our West Somerset Methodist Circuit, providing administration and facilities for our growing team and Circuit. We remain a Methodist presence in the middle of Minehead, a place of worship where all are welcome!
“To serve the present age, our calling to fulfil” (Charles Wesley)
Charity card sale