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Report - Hope Methodist Church/ Higham Ferrers/ August 2014

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
Built in 1902-3 by Northampton architect Thomas Dyer, the Hope Methodist Church is a striking landmark on Higham Ferrers' High Street. Marked out in East Northamptonshire Council's own Conservation Area Appraisal as a building of merit, the church, which is notable for its exuberantly Gothic west end, has a powerful presence in its historically significant surroundings. Yet the historic and architectural importance of Hope Methodist Church has not been enough to dissuade its owners from drawing up plans to demolish the building and erect a new church and community centre on the site. This, despite government planning policy guidance that the demolition of conservation area buildings should only be considered after all reasonable efforts have been made to keep the building in use, as well as the Council's draft Management Plan recommending that the building be locally listed.
It was opened officially in 1905 costing £5,200 to build. The Rev. Charles H. Kelly conducted the Opening Dedication Service and in the afternoon the Rev. H. Howard May conducted a Young People’s Service. The first boy to be Christened in the new Church was H.E Bates.
In 1922 The Pipe organs were installed and unlocked.
In 1960 the boilers were converted from coke to oil burning for a price of £374.
In 1986 The 81 year old wooden spire was removed from the top of the tower because it was leaning and the timbers were rotting. On top of the 24ft spire had been a 6ft weathervane.
The Rev. Alan Taplin preached 50 sponsored sermons from 9.00am to 1.40pm and raised £1,320 towards the cost of the new extension.
In 1988 Lightning struck the Church Hall causing the chimney to crash through the roof of the Guild Room.
In 1989 Church and Hall rewired and decorated. New lighting was installed. Raunds joined the Higham Ferrers Circuit.
In 1991 Asbestos cladding was removed from the boilers at a cost of £1,495 and the kitchen was refurbished.
In 1992 A major leak in the hot water heating system to the Church cost £4,800 to repair.
In 1996 The Youth Club was restarted. A new amplifier and loop system was installed in the Church at a cost of £2,406.
In 2003 The Rushden and Higham Ferrers Circuit amalgamated with Wellingborough and became the Nene Valley Circuit. Superintendent Minister: the Rev. Gordon Chisnall. The Administration Office for the new Circuit was located at Park Road.
In 2004 Rushden and Higham Ferrers Churches joined together to form one Church. Unfortunatley this meant closure for New Hope Methodist Church.

The Explore
Explored with Unplugged. This site has been on my tick list for a while now as it is not too far away from me. Entrance to the site was fairly easy, but looks like locals have made attempts to enter far harder as of recent times. Never mind, explorer experience prevailed on this occasion. The building appears to be in relatively good structural condition from the outside, but inside the place is rotting fast, with floor boards like quick sand in certain areas, albeit it is not very dangerous here. We were greeted by a large flock of pigeons roosting all over the place as we entered the main church hall who were never satisfied sitting in one place for long and enjoying crapping everywhere. There are few things left over from when the church was open; the main organ is mostly still in one piece (but not operational), the pews don’t appear to have been moved from their original position and the odd prayer book lies strewn in a corner here and there. Enjoyable explore overall.

The Pictures

The church in 1988

August 2014













Thanks for viewing my report, I hoped you liked.

The Lone Shadoow.

The Wombat

Mr Wombat
28DL Full Member
I must have a look here one day.
The pigeon shit looks a bit skanky
nicely captured shots

Will Knot

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Like the looks of that Mr Shadow :)

Nice pics and report there :thumb

Thanks for sharin' :D

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
Thanks for the nice comments everybody! It is certainly a worthwhile explore and lets just say, the next explorer will gain access far easier than I did :D

The Lone Shadow

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