Sheffield church digs deep to buy its home

A 112-year-old church given a new lease of life after almost shutting for good has been handed a permanent reprieve.

Thursday, 21st July 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:07 pm
Rev Nick Allan is setting up a new baptist church at the former Horizon Methodist Church on Ecclesall Road.

Baptist church The Well was launched at the old Endcliffe Methodist Church building on Ecclesall Road last September.

The church had been more recently known as Horizon Methodist Church, which ceased its Sunday worship in April 2015 when its congregation dwindled.

After hearing the building was available, baptist minister Reverend Nick Allan approached the Methodist Circuit and took over the church.

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Now The Well has bought the building outright after the Methodists put it up for sale on the open market with an asking price of £750,000.

Nick said his group had been on a fundraising drive, and that the purchase had been agreed ‘subject to contract’.

Their bid beat competition from commercial developers looking at converting the building into apartments or shops.

The Well’s members were ‘really pleased’ with the new, permanent arrangement, Nick added.

“It’s been a really exciting 10 months. We’ve grown considerably,” he said.

Maintaining the building’s intended use has meant a nursery, after-school clubs, choirs and other societies that relied on hiring the space can continue to do so.

“We’ve become friends with the residential association in Sharrow Vale, they’re delighted on our behalf that we are able to say we’re staying,” said Nick, formerly of St Thomas Philadelphia in Upperthorpe.

“There was a groundswell of passion for saving the building.”

Last year Nick, his wife Marjorie and a team of volunteers gave the building a makeover, creating a lounge space and café.

Future plans include opening up the church for community uses more frequently.