History of the Church
Some background about the Methodist church in Heswall.
The first Methodist Sunday School in Heswall was held in the home of a Mrs Lithgow, a doctor’s widow, who lived in Downham Road South. A Methodist society developed and their first services were held in two cottages in Milner Rd.
In 1854 the Society became part of the Birkenhead Methodist circuit, and in 1900 the first resident minister was appointed to Heswall. By 1938, the membership was 165. The membership grew and in 1959 it spawned the formation of another Methodist society at Thingwall. Membership peaked in the 1970’s at about 400 with also a very active youth club of about 200.
The society has always had a programme of activities to involve people of all ages, but sadly, like many churches and other organisations, the younger generations do not get involved as much as they once did. However, believing that the church has still much to offer this and future generations, the society is adapting itself to new ways of worship and new ways of understanding our faith and communicating it.
In 1859, the first Methodist church in Heswall was built in Milner Rd and was known as Gayton Wesleyan Church. In 1891 the foundation stone of the present building was laid, the former one eventually becoming the Heswall laundry.
The new building on Telegraph Rd was registered as Centenary Methodist Chapel as it was built 100 years exactly after the death of John Wesley. A vestry was added in 1893 and schoolrooms added in 1894. 1908 saw the formation of a Boy’s Brigade unit and a Girl’s class.
Extra premises were added in 1926 in the form of a timber hut to the rear of the schoolroom but later demolished in 2018. It was not until 1938 that the schoolrooms and the church were inter-connected by the addition of cloakrooms, kitchen and corridors. Further additions in 1975 included a foyer, a church office, and a larger kitchen.
In 2009 the chapel (worship area) of the church was refurbished. The pews were removed and replaced by comfortable movable chairs. This made the church much more flexible to meet the needs of a changing church. The pulpit was eventually removed in 2010.
Above: Heswall Methodist Church as seen from Telegraph Road.
Above: Venture House, adjacent to the church, now housing the Beacon Coffee Shop and with rooms for other activities, was once the residence of the caretaker.