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Leeds (North & East)
Methodist Circuit

Garforth Methodist Church

Church Lane, Garforth, Leeds, LS25 1NW

Rev'd Becki Stennett MA (minister)
0113 287 2412

Mrs Jenny Kyle (senior steward)
0113 287 7922

Mr Philip & Mrs Janet Lymath (room bookings)
0113 286 6326


Jan 3rd, 10:30 am – Mr Grenville Jensen

Jan 10th, 10:30 am – Rev'd Becki Stennett (Covenant Service)

Jan 17th, 10:30 am – Mrs Janice Green

leeds north amp eastimage
leeds north amp eastimage
leeds north amp eastimage
leeds north amp eastimage

Moortown Methodist Church Centre is mission centred circuit project based and is situated on the Cramner Bank housing estate in Moor Allerton. Designed as a dual-purpose building, it is suitable both for worship and for social activities. The Moortown congregation now worships on Sundays with the congregation at St Stephen's Anglican Church, or at Alwoodley Park Methodist Church. Although the centre no longer holds Methodist services, two independent churches meet on the premises.

The centre is overseen by the management committee on behalf of Leeds North & East Methodist Circuit, they are Rev Tanya Short (Chair) Mr Ted Britton, Mr John Witt, Mrs Joan Roberts, Mrs Margaret Ayeyard, Mrs Jennifer Dalton.

The management committee work to the guiding principles of:

  • By managing the building as a resource for community and charitable groups to serve the needs of the community
  • By enabling everyone in the community to access the services provided by different community groups on an equal basis, and maintaining the building as a safe and spiritual place.

The management committee work towards these current objectives:

  • To be a place of Christian worship and fellowship
  • To work with other agencies to respond to identified social need
  • To provide a place for safe and constructive activities for children & youth of the area
  • To provide an affordable space for Community Groups
  • To work in partnership with other agencies in the area
  • To provide affordable space for family and social events
  • To make a positive contribution to the financial stability of the Methodist Circuit

The centre is building up a working relationship with St Stephens Church of England and Alwoodley Park Methodist, working with volunteers to facilitate a community Messy Church at the community café. We also are presence at the weekly Thursday community café on the parade of shops on Cranmer Bank. Within the next year we hope to start up a regular coffee and chat, beginning the Church centre and the community together.

The Centre has a good relationship with the Residents Association, the Youth Service and uniformed organisations. There are many sporting and well-being activities offered by many varied groups, all an affordable opportunity for the community. Many activities are help at the centre that support a safe and constructive place for children and young people, catering for ages from pre-school till late teens. The centre is well used by the community for affordable social occasions.

Moortown Methodist Church Centre takes seriously it's responsibility in responding to social concerns and needs. Up till recently it housed Foodbank, and host WYDAN night shelter regularly, bringing together volunteers from all Christian denominations and none.

The history of Moortown Methodist Church Centre

Moortown Methodist church was set up as a Missionary Church from Lidgett Park in 1952 to the new Moortown Estate which was being built to house people that lived in the slums in the Leeds City Centre. At that time trams were running up Harrogate Road to Moortown Corner, and then to Roundhay Park and back to Leeds, so transport was good. Some founder members still live in the same house from that time, and they tell how wonderful their houses were with indoor bathrooms, proper kitchens and spacious rooms, and gardens for vegetables at the back. The Methodists were the first denomination to be interested in setting up a new church, and so had the first choice of location; and the one in the middle of the estate was preferred, and building started in 1952. While the new church was being built, the Methodist people had their meetings and Sunday school in the wooden huts belonging to Alwoodley school.

Mr Bexon opened the New church in October 1953, and the Lidgett Park minister, Reverend Cummings took over the Pastoral Responsibility. He was assisted by Deaconesses, who were instrumental in building up the congregation and activities. Dr Vickors was the first Sunday school superintendent and his wife played the piano for many years.

There were many other successful activities run during that time – including men's and ladies' groups, and a well-run youth club that always started with a talk by visiting young preachers.

In the early 2000's under the leadership of Revd. Paul Welch, our congregation became increasingly close to the Anglican Church of St. Stephens; we shared Open Days, and worshipping together in each other's churches. We took the step to worship permanently with St. Stephens, but also have one Sunday each month worshipping at Alwoodley Park. At the same time, the Showers of Mercy Ministries asked permission to use our premises, and so on our last Sunday at Moortown, we symbolically handed over the keys, and they began worshipping there the Sunday after we joined up with St. Stephens.

We celebrated our 60th Anniversary in October 2013 with an evening Circuit Service – about ten former Ministers and Deacons returned for the occasion, which was celebrated with great joy by over 100 people, including the Vicar and many from St. Stephens.
Following that occasion, it was decided at our Church council that we would cease to be a separate congregation, and so we became incorporated into Alwoodley Park; we continue to support both congregations.

We requested that the Circuit took over the work into the Community that the Moortown Methodist Church provided. The Circuit agreed, a Management Committee was formed, and our outreach work has continued to thrive. Our bookings and tenants have increased, including close ties with the Moortown Resident's Association, which provide activities from the very young children to adults. We have become one of the favourite venues for the WYDAN project housing destitute Asylum Seekers (In 2019 they came to us three times!) We were about to start a new Messy Church with St. Stephens, when lockdown came about.

There has been a continuous worshipping community at Moortown Methodist church since it opened in 1953.

We support the Leeds North and East Circuit financially, and have been able to give extra donations for specific projects. Recently we have completely renovated our premises, and put in efficient modern central heating and a new bright colour scheme. When the present restrictions are eased, then we look forward confidently to the future so that we can continue to witness to God's love by our service to the community.

John Witt & Angela Moore, May 2020.

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