A Brief Introduction to the History of Our Church
The Chislehurst Methodist Church was originally built between 1868-70, thanks to a group of Methodists led by Moses Line, a successful local businessman and, including many other names of renown in Chislehurst. The original construction cost was £5,800 and included traditional fixed timber pews.
To provide extra seating, the gallery or ‘balcony’ was built in 1881 and, owing to the growth of the Church the side chapel (now the welcome area and crèche) was completed in 1883.
There were further plans in the 1880’s to build an identical side extension on the North side, to give a cruciform ground plan, but this was never built due to lack of funds.
The Wesley room was added in 1936, primarily built to be a Sunday school class room.
The Epworth room, Main Hall and Concourse were then added in the 1960’s, following the sale and subsequent development of the Manse and the Willow Grove Wesleyan School sites, to raise the funds.
The modern glass roofed foyer, named ‘The Courtyard’ (joining the Main Hall and church) was added in 2011, whilst the Main Church space was also modernised, transforming it into a modern, multi-purpose worship and community space, with the unique prayer labyrinth set into the floor.
The very unusual design of the prayer labyrinth is taken from a water labyrinth in the Qasr al-Azm palace in Damascus, Syria and dates from around 1750. The original design was adapted by Jeff Saward in order to create a more balanced labyrinth that would sit well within this church setting. In common with the original, it features separate paths for the inward and outward journeys. This rendering also has enlarged spaces between each turn, to allow for the setting out of prayer stations.
"You enter a maze to lose yourself and a labyrinth to find yourself"
Come and See
We would love you to come and visit and explore our church, but for those who cannot come and see us in person, or perhaps to read ahead of a visit, we have produced a detailed guide to our church.
The guide is in two parts, the first is a detailed text commentary, the second its photographic companion:
Journeying with God
You are a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path
Guide our footsteps O God,
may we walk with you
as you walk with us.