News of closure of South Normanton's last Methodist church met with 'sadness'

An invitation has gone out for a congregation to attend one last service at a South Normanton church which is set to close.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 6:15 pm

It has been announced that the Zion Methodist Church on Market Street will be shutting its doors at the end of the year.

A final service of thanksgiving is to be held at the Victorian, red brick building at 2.30pm, on Sunday, October 3.

There will also be an opportunity to have one last nostalgic look round the historic church, from 9.30am to 8pm, on Tuesday, October 5, and 9.30am to 2pm, on Wednesday, October 6.

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South Normanton Primitive Methodist Zion Church is set to close

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The church, which has been a prominent feature in the town for about 140 years, recently served as a temporary venue for the South Normanton Community Church during the lockdown.

A minister, speaking on behalf of the South Normanton and Borders Mission Methodist Circuit, is hoping residents from the area will come along to the final service to “give thanks for the church” and to “have a chat and share memories over a cup of tea afterwards.”

He added "Unfortunately it is always very sad for a community when a church closes, but it does seem to be the general pattern of what happens as congregations decline over the years.

“Historically, there were a number of Methodist churches and chapels in the South Normanton area, but the Zion is the the last one.”

The ‘Spotted South Normanton’ Facebook page posted the news saying it was “announcing the closure with sadness.”

It prompted more than a score of people to respond, some saying how “sad” they were to hear of the closure, whilst others reminisced about happy “memories” and others remembered family links to the church.

According to the ‘My Primitive Methodist’ web page, which describes a short history of the church, author Christopher Hill states “The 1882 Primitive Methodist magazine tells us the ‘new Primitive Methodist chapel was opened in South Normanton.

“It described the then new chapel as ‘very neat and better accommodation’ and ‘very much needed.’

It goes on “A previous chapel stood well back from the main street, originally, and the 1880 Ordnance Survey map shows it on Lees Lane. The new chapel, which held 250 people, had cost around £700 to build.”

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