10:30 The Avenue,
6:30 pm Brendon Hill
You can find details of all our
services on the Circuit Plan - click here
The Rank Trust deed objectives are:
To advance the Christian faith and
To further any other objects or purposes which are exclusively charitable according to the laws of England and Wales in force from time to time and offers grants for this work.
Please click here for the
Joseph Rank Trust website
John Wesley, often referred to as the founder of the Methodist Church, visited Minehead twice, in 1744 and 1745. He was on his way to South Wales and this was a stopping off point.
In 1811 a Society (a common word for a group of people in early Methodism) was formed, and met in a house at Court Place,
Bampton Street. In 1850, when a Chapel was built at
Alcombe, the members were 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's house
(Clevelands, North Hill) under the chairmanship of the Rev
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 was owned by this
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 Od for a 99-year lease.
The Committee proposed that the building should be 35ft
x25ft and should be in a similar style to the Church Schools
in Middle Street. Today this is known as the South Aisle or
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 decided to build a vestry and the cost
of this was £152. The opening services were held on June 15th
1876 and the Chairman of the District, Rev S S Rowe, preached
the sermon. The porch was added in 1877.
In 1884 a Committee was formed, and the Rev H W Haime was
appointed secretary for the Chapel Enlargement Scheme. The
Estate Steward was approached to obtain some more land, and
the Architects (Foster and 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 June 12, 1885. Stones were laid on 16th September
1885. The Chapel, 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 Chapel were requested from other
builders. Mr J H Langdon's estimate of £750 was accepted,
with the addition later of £109 for Bath or Ham Hill stone. Mr
E J Foy's tender of £36 10sfor gas fittings was accepted. The
new pulpit was given by Joseph Wood, Esq., Architect. The
opening was on Wednesday, June 30th 1886,and the preacher
was the Rev T Tapley Short.
Pew Rents - the first front row and the last six pews on each
side were free. The charge for the others were 1/6, 1/3 and1/per
quarter If two people wanted the same pew, it was let to
the highest bidder!
The organ was built in 1898and cost £350. Today's organ has
Had a recent (2006) overhaul at a cost of £38,000 and it is now
valued at £200,000. In 2007 we have three excellent
organists - Keith Halstead, Lewis Lintern and David Plumb.
There is a choir, who normally help to lead worship.
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL BUILDINGS
Not much is known about the building of the School Rooms, except
that completion was in 1905 and a plaque in the main hall is dated
1906 giving thanks for Rev Joel Peters who was the minister at
the time. There are older members of the congregation who
remember attending here, either on Sundays, or during the war,
when it served as a school. Over the years there have been
Sunday Schools with large numbers and also Youth Clubs. Sadly
this is not so in 2007.
In the late 1990's new toilets were put in, including one for people
with impairment - this involved moving the front wall of the school
room stone by stone (Grade II Listed Building).The cost was
£38,300. The quinquennial of May 2002 was frightening to read!
Of course we knew there were problems with the roof-water
buckets placed strategically throughout the building which had to be
emptied after every major downpour. There were some seats in
the church best avoided - or bring a brolly. We also had dry rot to
eradicate. This is to say nothing of improving the facilities in our
Reroofing and window repairs cost in the region of £190,000 - and
Came in just under budget. Dry rot eradication over a period has
cost about £15,000. It was decided in order to make the best use
of our position within the town centre we needed to bring our
ancillary premises up to a good position. This has cost around
£50,00 but with the level of usage now achieved this has been a
good investment. The premises are now valued at £1,666,240
(£1500 in 1886). Our recent quinquennial said "The premises are
very well presented and the Church Officers and congregation are
to be congratulated". We have spent £333,000, now we have to
use what we have!
Now to the future ....We are in the hands of God who we serve,
the Jesus Christ who we worship, the Holy Spirit who brings new
Linda J Barriball - Minister 1999-2008
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