Historic south Yorkshire church faces closure

Ted Ring, Heritage Officer of Rotherhams most well-known churches, inside grade-II listed Talbot Lane Methodist Church,which may have to close after more than 250 years of worship on the site
Ted Ring, Heritage Officer of Rotherhams most well-known churches, inside grade-II listed Talbot Lane Methodist Church,which may have to close after more than 250 years of worship on the site
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A historic South Yorkshire church may have to close its doors after more than 250 years of worship on the site.

Grade II-listed Talbot Lane Methodist Church in Rotherham town centre needs extensive maintenance work on its roof.

Grade II-listed Talbot Lane Methodist Church, which may have to close

Grade II-listed Talbot Lane Methodist Church, which may have to close

Church-goers are now calling for residents to help raise thousands of pounds for the work to be done.

The minister says upkeep of the listed building, which has 850 seats and a current congregation of around 40, is a constant challenge.

The Rev Karen Beecham said: “With the cost of scaffolding alone, before work on maintenance can even begin, we need to raise many thousands of pounds.

“As you can imagine, in a situation like this our financial reserves are quickly disappearing.

“We work very hard to raise funds, but there is only so much the members can reasonably do in the time available.

“We know there are many people in Rotherham and elsewhere who have strong and memorable connections with Talbot Lane, and it would be very much appreciated if some of them could help us on our way to save this precious church.

“Talbot Lane has been rightly described as ‘a gem of Methodist architecture’, and it is an important part of Rotherham’s heritage.”

During the winter months Sunday services are held in the church’s parlour rather than the main building because of the cost of heating the premises.

The church is the third place of worship on the site. It had to be rebuilt in 1901 after a fire destroyed the chapel after an organ tuner accidentally dropped his candle inside the organ.

It was re-opened and paid for by residents just two years later.