by Ray Duffill
A former Methodist chapel in Thorngumbald is being offered for sale following falling congregation numbers.
The declining number of worshippers had been a problem at the chapel for a number of years.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, there had been an average attendance of only eight people. The number of members available to take on necessary roles and responsibilities had also dwindled and the impact of measures imposed during the pandemic only made matters worse.
Since then, efforts to encourage residents in the village to worship at the chapel, which dates back to 1904, have been unsuccessful. Occasional events were arranged for united worship with the Church of England St Mary’s Church in the village, but this did not promote any significant growth in the chapel congregation.
Members have also helped out with Messy Church activities in the Thorngumbald Community Institute next door to the chapel, but the problem of lack of attendance remained.
After formally seeking permission from Methodist authorities to cease worship, it was reported that members had realised that their mission was complete as far as the chapel was concerned. It is hoped that some ecumenical worship will continue at St Mary’s and therefore maintain a Methodist presence in the village. However, many will have switched to worshipping at Hedon Methodist Church.
Plans have now been implemented to sell the building, with the proceeds being used to promote Methodist projects and ministry in the area.
Frank Hill and Son auctioneers, based at Patrington, has brought the property to market. According to its marketing material, the chapel is constructed of brick with a slate roof and sloping timber floor.
It has all its original features including stained-glass windows and wooden pews throughout. A vaulted ceiling gives the historic building a feeling of grandeur.
The property would be suitable for a variety of uses, subject to the necessary planning consent. Tenders close on Friday, May 12, at noon.