Heritage 10 Methodist Free Church

No 10                       Methodist Free Church

In the late eighteen sixties an evangelical open air service was conducted on the common by Mrs Charlotte Bruce of Stoke Holy Cross.  Subsequently meetings were held in Mrs Leggett’s Cottage (one of three comprising what is now ‘Naidens’).  Later the meetings moved to Hillside Barn.  There they were held until 1879 when a piece of land  was bought in Chapel Lane.

The present church was built by Messrs.  J. Youngs of Norwich.  The foundation stones were laid on April 24th 1879 by J B Allen Esq. and R Dawes Esq.  The opening service was conducted by the Reverend J. Percival and the Reverend A. J. Chamberlain.

The communion table was made by Mr Israel Copping from oak supplied by Mr Martin Birkbeck of Poringland.

In 1951 the present school hall, vestry and kitchen were built by Mr Reginald Copping to the designs of Messrs. Clifford Dann of Norwich.  These additions were opened by Mrs L. E. Sutton who was present at the opening of the church in 1879.

There are memorial tablets in the church to Charlotte Bruce Henry Birkbeck and William Wade.  The latter used to drive from Hethersett every Sunday morning in his pony and cart to take the Sunday service.

It is called a ‘free’church because it was a church free from the Established Church of England.  In these more enlightened days Christians are learning the wisdom of coming together.  Every fifth Sunday and every Good Friday christians in the village unite in worship.

The Church belongs to the Calvert Street Circuit, Norwich.