We have a wonderful history, having served the local community since 1880. along with Christchurch C of E and Immanuel URC, an ecumenical group of churches that has been going since 1969.
Why not click on the link below and see what you can find out? It is a fascinating little history, both in terms of church life and a reflection of society at various points during the last hundred years.
How Bath Road Methodist Church began
In 1813, a licence was granted to build a chapel at the back of The Corn Exchange. It was octagonal in shape and held 120 people. By 1862, this chapel was too small and so a second octagonal chapel was built for £1,000 next to the Old Town Brewery, which is still in Hoopers Place. By 1875, this also was not big enough and fund-raising began for a new church.
In 1876, Wesley Street was built and the land for Bath Road Church, worth £500, was donated by Joseph Armstrong, W.V. Edward and P.H. Mason. Additional land costing £540, was paid for by subscription and planning began. The architects were Bromllow & Chears of Liverpool.
In November 1878, the contract to build was signed with Mr. Thomas Barrett, a loyal member of the church. He was known for his work building the Blunsdon Abbey mansion in 1864, at the time regarded as one of the finest in the West of England.
The new church was to be lit by gas chandeliers. It would be 96‘ feet long, 56’wide and 69’ high There would be a 40 foot square schoolroom and six classrooms. The eventual cost of the building, fully furnished, was £5,631. On 16 April 1879, the foundation stone was laid, with its time-capsule, and a tea for 500 people was held in The Corn Exchange.
The Official Opening took place at 3 p.m. on Whit Monday, 17th May 1880. Dedication services and special events lasted for 23 days.
Fifteen years later, the roof needed some repairs and there were other minor renovations to be undertaken. Services were held in the Corn Exchange while the renovations were carried out.
At this time Mr Samuel Limmex offered to replace the chancel window with stained glass, at the not inconsiderable sum of £35, in memory of his wife. Samuel was the son of a Methodist minister (he was born overseas in St Vincent) and it is believed he was also a returned missionary. This was the same Mr Limmex who made famous the ironmongery shop in Old Town, which closed to much local regret, in 2000. The window has been known forever since in the Bath Road church community as 'The Limmex Window'.
After a hundred years, the church needed such extensive repairs it was under threat of demolition. As part of a successful campaign to save the building, it was decided to build Epworth Court around the church. From late 1982 to 1984, worship was held at the Church of the First Born in Prospect Place until Bath Road church was reopened on 3rd December, 1984.