Pilkington Avenue, Westlands Newcastle, Staffs, ST5 3RE.
Minister: Revd John Taylor
In 1926, at a Quarterly Meeting of the Newcastle Circuit, held at Etruria, a Westlands Church and schools was first suggested. A small committee was appointed and met in April 1930. After inspecting various sites the one on which the present buildings stand was chosen. A three-year option on the site was obtained in June 1931 and the deposit was privately made.
In December 1931 a letter was sent to Westlands friends inviting them to a meeting in the Tennis Pavilion to formulate a building scheme. The chief outcome of this meeting was the first Methodist service in the Westlands, held in the Tennis Pavilion on Sunday, January 10, 1932. It was the first of a series of eleven services.
A Trust was formed, and on July 28th, 1938 the foundation stones of the first building were laid. This was a school-chapel with two smaller rooms and a kitchen, which served the cause until 1950.
The Church Hall was opened on Thursday, December 8th, 1938. On the first Sunday, December 11, 1938, the preacher was the Rev. Allen Lea, a past President of the South African Methodist Conference.
A decade later the Church had a membership of 180, a large and well staffed Sunday School, and many flourishing weeknight activities. In 1949 the Trustees decided to embark upon the second stage of the general plan for the development of the site - the new hall, which was opened on September 21st, 1950.
The possession of the new hall gave the Church more room to extend its Sunday School and week-day activities and allowed for the Chapel, now enlarged and improved, to be kept for Services of Worship only.
Progress was well maintained, attendances at Sunday School increased considerably, and membership of the Church rose to 250. Again the accommodation was found to be inadequate to meet all needs of the Sunday School and Youth work, so the Trustees decided to make further extensions to the building, in the shape of a new room for the Beginners' Department to use, and in which other Church meetings would be held, together with a large and well equipped kitchen.
The work was commenced in October 1957 and the official opening was on January 30th, 1958.
At the same time that the first of the Methodist buildings was being erected the Anglicans were building - just across the road. In 1962 the new St Andrew’s Anglican Church was consecrated, their original building becoming the Parish Hall.
Almost from the outset, then, there was a good working relationship between the congregations of the two Churches. The failure, nationally, of the Conversations between the Methodist Church and the Church of England at the beginning of the 1970s came as something of a disappointment to the two congregations in the Westlands. Undeterred, however, they elected to become ‘The Westlands Area of Ecumenical Experiment’ and on May 19, 1973 signed a covenant committing themselves to work together as far as they were able. That covenant is still the basis of the current Local Ecumenical Project of which the two Churches are a part.
Service Times: Sunday morning 10.30 am
First Sunday evening of the month-Day One (Joint service with
St Andrew’s with music group and visiting speakers at 6.30 pm)
Evening service joint with St Andrew’s (held on alternative
months in each church at 6.30 pm)
Family services on second Sunday (am) led by the Worship Group.
Car Park: 60 spaces
Premises: Large Hall connected to the church which can accommodate 140. Two
additional rooms seating approx 30 and two smaller lounge areas. Large modern kitchen.
Worship Area: Main Worship area for congregation. 120 interlinking chairs. Pulpit, Communion area and table (movable). Raised on blocks-(also movable)
Numbers Attending Worship: Average size of congregation 60, various ages but generally in 50-90 bracket.
Music: Small choir. Singing the Faith, Hymns and Psalms, Spring Harvest, CD’S and taped music. Electronic keyboard and pipe organ.
Multi- media: Overhead projector and screen.
Midweek Activities: Women’s Fellowship, Rainbows, Brownies, Monday Group - monthly Ladies group-joint with St Andrew’s. Knit wits - weekly. Joint but also has non-church members.
All rooms used extensively throughout the week- approx 24 outside groups use the facilities on a regular basis.
On the second Tuesday of each month there is a Luncheon Club that meets for a 4 course meal - originally for church goers but now also being used by elderly folk in the area - caters for 30 - waiting list each month.