Bishop Auckland Methodist Church celebrated its 25th year in 2018 of the coming together of two congregations into the refurbished present building.
On September 1st 1993 Bishop Auckland’s two Methodist Churches (‘Central’, a 1903 former Primitive chapel and ‘Wesley’, a 1914 former Wesleyan edifice) closed and the two congregations merged to form a ‘new’ society which was to be based on the former ‘Central’ site after major development and refurbishment.
On 1st September 2018 we marked the Church’s 25th Anniversary following a celebratory Silver Jubilee Year.
At the outset the new church identified its mission as ‘WORSHIPPING, WITNESSING AND SERVING’ and the congregation set about developing programmes to fulfil those stated objectives. As well as regular public WORSHIP on Sundays and Thursdays the Church is a popular venue for baptisms, weddings and funerals.
An important part of the Church’s WITNESS has always been a desire to be an OPEN church, welcoming and friendly to all comers. The building was specifically redesigned to create spaces ideal for use by community groups, as they constantly are. Furthermore, the church is OPEN and staffed for two hours every weekday morning, offering a warm welcome, a listening ear, a place for prayer to anyone who calls.
‘Wesley Methodist Church’ became the ‘Four Clocks Centre’ and is run by Bishop Auckland Community Partnership.Our intention to be a SERVING church sees us sharing in the life of the wider church both by participation in Fellowship of Churches projects and support of the Methodist Church’s connexional activities. In addition, we have always, collectively and as individuals, supported and continue to support significant local community initiatives.
While the excitement of a new situation and enthusiasm for a new project have waned and numbers have declined over 25 years, the commitment of the current congregation to the original mission remains firm. We have recently established ourselves as a Fairtrade church, are currently working at becoming a Dementia Friendly Church and looking for ways in which we can embrace recent developments in Technology.