Kingsthorpe Methodist Church was formed in 1977 with the amalgamation of the Central and Osborne Road Methodist Societies. Central Methodist Church was on Regent Square close to the centre of Northampton in a large building with other Methodist churches in relatively close proximity. The membership there felt the call to re-locate further north to witness and serve the Kingsthorpe area. Osborne Road Methodist Church was already in Kingsthorpe but in a relatively small building. This building still exists and is now ‘Osborne Road Gospel Hall’. Central Methodist Church closed with the formation of the new society and worship and other activities took place at Osborne Road while the conversion of the Welford Road building took place. During this time the two groups of people got to know each other better and learnt to work together.
The Welford Road building was originally a cinema known as the Ritz which opened in 1937 and then closed in 1962. The building was subsequently used as a leather warehouse and then, in 1975, it was purchased by the Methodist Church. Following a significant amount of work, services and all other activities moved from Osborne Road to the new building (shown above). Initially worship took place in the Hall while further work took place in what was to become the Worship Area. After a further period of time the conversion work was completed and then the official opening took place on 26th January 1980.
Kingsthorpe Methodist Church then became a ‘Centre of Faith and Care’ and served the community of Kingsthorpe from this building for the next 36 years. A whole range of activities have taken place in the building during this time. The church has sponsored Youth Work, Girls’ Brigade, Boys’ Brigade, Youth Clubs, Toddler and Playgroups. It has also worked with those of more mature years through Women’s and Men’s meetings, Badminton Club and Home Alone Lunches as well as regular Friday and Saturday Coffee mornings. The premises have also been hired out to community groups including NHS Blood Donor Sessions, Community Opportunities for people with learning disabilities, Line Dancing, Keep Fit, Badminton, Karate Training and a number of one-off events such as sales.
During the early part of the 21st century it became increasingly apparent that there were a number of problems with the building, the most significant of which was rain water ingress. The total cost to resolve all of these issues was not a viable solution, so other options for the future were explored. In the summer of 2015 the decision was made to plan to vacate the building and the final service was held on 7th February 2016. We now hold a service at the Pastures Community Centre on the 1st Sunday of the month and share worship with Kingsthorpe Baptist Church on the other Sundays. Plans are in hand to develop the Welford road site with a mixed development, which will include a Church and community facility.
In November 2015, architects started their survey of the site and a first draft set of drawings were ready in January 2016. These were approved with some slight amendments. In March 2016, a topographical survey was carried out to establish boundaries and services and these were added to the second draft of drawings. In May, a meeting was held in Manchester with Methodist Connexional representatives and they were supportive of our plans. The next stage is to meet the requirements of the Methodist Connexion and look into demolition of the old premises as soon as possible.
In the long term, we believe there should be a Methodist presence in Kingsthorpe and are hopeful that a developer will purchase the site and fulfil our prayers.
Our Vision (2022)
To be a worshipful people of God, bringing Christ to the heart of our community.
Mission Statement (2022)
To grow and maintain a Kingsthorpe-based Methodist Christian community:
- where worship of God is central to its life,
- where fellowship between people enriches and deepens their spiritual journey,
- that has outreach into the community as a way of sharing God’s love,
- that enables people to develop a relationship with Jesus,
- where everyone is encouraging an outlook of inclusivity,
- that has partnerships with Christian and other communities.