Well-known Rotherham church is under threat

ONE of Rotherham’s best-known churches could be set for closure because of falling numbers of worshippers.

Talbot Lane Methodist Church in the town centre may have to close its doors after more than 250 years of worship on the site.

The present-day worshippers number around 40, and the upkeep of the Grade II listed building with its 850 seats is a challenge.

Rotherham’s largest auditorium now needs considerable maintenance work on its roof.

The church, which faces Rotherham Town Hall, is the third place of worship on the site.

An octagonal chapel was opened on the site in 1761.

Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, preached there on several occasions.

By the early years of the nineteenth century, growing numbers of worshippers brought about its replacement with a classical-style chapel, which itself had to be extended in the middle of the century.

But tragedy struck in 1901 when the chapel was destroyed by a fire caused when an organ tuner accidentally dropped his candle inside the organ space. 

A new church was opened and paid for inside just two years after the blaze.

Rev Karen Beecham said: “With the cost of scaffolding alone, before work on maintenance can even begin, we need to raise many thousands of pounds. 

“As you can imagine, in a situation like this our financial reserves are quickly disappearing.

“We work very hard to raise funds, but there is only so much the members can reasonably do in the time available.

“We know there are many people in Rotherham and elsewhere who have strong and memorable connections with Talbot Lane, and it would be very much appreciated if some of them could help us to save this precious church.”

To find out more about this church, visit friendsoftalbotlane.co.uk or contact Rev Karen Beecham by post at Talbot Lane Methodist Church, Moorgate Street, Rotherham S60 2EY.

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