Newcastle Methodist Church
Ryecroft, Newcastle, Staffs ST5 2AD
On Thursday 24th March 1768 John Wesley, the acknowledged founder of Methodism, recorded in his Journal: “I rode to Newcastle-under-Lyme (a river so called), one of the prettiest towns in England. ... The largeness of the congregation constrained me, though it was very cold, to preach in the open air, on ‘God commaneth all men, everywhere to repent’. I scarce saw a more attentive, or better behaved, congregation.” He visited again on several occasions each time preaching in the open-air until in 1778 he addressed his congregation “in the shell of the new house” in the Stubbs.
John Wesley died on 2nd March 1791. Sadly the movement he founded began to fragment. On 3rd August 1797 the Methodist New Connexion was founded in Ebenezer Chapel in Leeds and by 19th September 1797 a Society belonging to the New Connexion was to be found in Newcastle, meeting, in the first instance, in premises in Fogg (or Fog) Lane. Within two years their membership was sufficient to warrant the building of their own premises and a site was purchased on 17th May 1799. Another piece of land was purchased for the school, which was founded in October 1800. A document of March 1803 records that the Chapel and School had been built on the land purchased and that a burial ground was attached to the Chapel, which “is called or known by the name Ebenezer”, probably taken from the Leeds Chapel where the New Connexion was formed.
Maintaining premises as extensive as Ebenezer was expensive and the consequent dilapidation was inevitable. The possibility of a new Church began to be considered in the 1960s. In July 1977 it was agreed to cease worship in the Church and transfer, temporarily, to the Assembly Rooms. On 6th February 1978 the Church and adjacent land was sold.
On 5th July 1980 the stone-laying ceremony of the present building took place and on 9th May 1981 the new Church was opened and re-named ‘Newcastle Methodist Church’.
Service Times: Sunday morning 11am.
Welsh Speaking Service each Sunday afternoon (in one of the meeting rooms)
Car Park: 15 spaces.
Premises: Large “Assembly rooms” connected to the church. Ground floor - kitchen, 3 meeting rooms, toilets. Lift to upper floor-large kitchen, large hall and second smaller hall. The Church also owns a small cottage adjacent to the church, which has been renovated for a rental income. (old caretaker’s cottage).
Music: Singing the Faith, Hymns and Psalms, Mission Praise, CD’S and taped music.
Multi- media: overhead projector and screen.
Children & Young People: None at present.
Midweek Activities: Women’s Fellowship, Men’s Fellowship, Bible Study, Ladies Evening Club.
Each Saturday morning the down stairs kitchen and coffee bar offers refreshments for shoppers etc in town. OPEN from 9-12.