Methodism in Kibblesworth predates 1913 but the current chapel was built in that year. The building was opened in July 1913. During the first half of our centenary year the chapel underwent a major refurbishment ensuring that it is a warm, welcoming, comfortable place of worship fit for purpose at the beginning of its second century.

 Commemorative Plate by Sue Betts

Commemorative Plate by Sue Betts

To mark the Centenary a Brochure written by Dorothy Hall was published outlining the history of Methodism in Kibblesworth. A DVD of memories from the past and hopes for the future was also produced. The Brochure and DVD are available together for £5 + p&p. Please use the contact form if you wish to order.

The members of Kibblesworth Methodist Church would like to thank all those who have made a financial contribution to the funding of the refurbishment.

First and foremost we want to thank the many individuals who have made personal contributions.

We are grateful to for continued support from Lamesley Parish Council

We have been generously supported by the Methodist Church with both finance and advice and are grateful to The Bede Circuit, The Newcastle upon Tyne District and the Fund for Property.

We would not have met our target without thesupport of the following organisations who responded to our appeal for funding:

The Garfield Weston Foundation

The Joicey Trust

The Allchurches Trust

The William Webster Charitable Trust

The Gibbs Charitable Trust

A Centenary Makeover

The refurbishment of the chapel that has now been completed has been a long time in the planning. Some 9 years ago during Rev Jean Hudson’s brief tenure as Minister the question was raised as to whether we could afford to keep both chapel and hall and if the answer was no, which should we sell and which retain. As the years went by there were many discussions in Church Council meetings with good arguments put forward both ways. When the dust settled the Church Council came to a unanimous decision to sell the hall and refurbish the chapel. By this time the 2008 financial crisis had struck and property values fell significantly.

The hall was duly advertised but received very little interest and languished on the market for the best part of a year until purchased by Northern Print Solutions in January 2012. Having feared that the hall would be demolished and the site redeveloped we have been delighted to witness its transformation into a state of the art print shop providing much needed local employment.

Having sold the hall an important part of the brief for the refurbishment of the chapel was that it should be multi-purpose and adaptable for a range of activities whilst at the same time retaining its character and chief purpose as a place of worship. Other aims were to make the chapel and its activities accessible to people of all abilities, to make the building more energy efficient and at the same time to be warmer and more comfortable.

Plans were drawn, tenders invited and a main contractor, RJ Builders, chosen. Further funding was required to supplement the proceeds from the sale of the hall and we have been blessed by grants from The Methodist Church, from several grant making trusts and most importantly from the generous giving of our own congregation and many people in the village. Such generosity has made the refurbishment possible.

Now that the work is completed we have a new and efficient heating system, a full rewire and new lighting, a new kitchen and sanitary facilities, audio visual equipment and a level floor throughout. The external walls and floors have been insulated, the pews have been replaced by more comfortable chairs and a central access and aisle created. The existing pitch pine timber has been stripped and polished.

We wish to acknowledge the dedication, skill and commitment of the workforce who planned and carried out the work. Thank you to the following companies and their excellent staff:

Keith Butler (KB Design) – Architect

RJ Builders – Main Contractor

Chapman and Gosling – Electrical contractors

Highly Efficient Heating – Heating and plumbing

Clockwork AV – Audio Visual installation

Charles McCain and Sons Ltd – Decorators

Northern French Polishers Ltd – French polishing

Westgate Carpets – Floor coverings

Ningbo Furniture – Chairs and Tables

It is our hope and prayer that this building will continue into its second century as a place where worship is offered to God and a place where the people of Kibblesworth can find comfort and challenge, acceptance and meaning, where they can come to celebrate important moments in their lives and discover depth and mystery and faith in the midst of human experience.

 

1913 – 2013

A new church for a new Century

Does the Church in Great Britain have a future? It is a reasonable question. The most noticeable change in church life over the 100 years this building has stood is that there are far fewer people attending Christian worship now than there were then.  Indeed there are many who are cheerfully predicting the end of the Christian Church in the West. It seems incredible that even in the 1970s when a family service was introduced at the Chapel that there were 92 adults plus children present! I am sure that as we have embarked on this refurbishment project there have been some who have said, “Is it worth it?”  Were the chapel to close there would be no place of worship in the village, does that matter? And if it does what role can Kibblesworth Methodist Church hope to fulfil in the years to come? Here are 3 suggestions,

1.       Perhaps it can fulfill the role the Church was called to, that is to bear witness to God and through that witness allow us as human beings to know ourselves and our purpose more clearly. In bearing witness to God the Church’s role is to declare to humanity that, “You are not the centre of the universe” and so encourage humility, selflessness and service.

2.       My favourite saying is, “It’s rarely either/or but more often both/and”. The truth that the Church proclaims reminds us that we find our identity both as individuals and also in community with others.

3.       The Church must also be both a prophetic and an affirmative voice within society determining with wisdom those patterns of living that should be challenged and those that must be endorsed; understanding that being prophetic is rarely popular.

 

But perhaps above all we can be a community of followers of Jesus, sharing his message of grace, forgiveness and love, celebrating life, confronting evil and offering hope to all whatever their circumstances.

 

Richard Bainbridge (Minister) July 2013