The history of the Methodist Church in Sprotbrough
Our Church was built in 1938, and the Opening Ceremony was conducted by Rev. P. Hutchinson and Rev. Swansbrough on the 14th November 1938. The cost of the building and furnishings amounted to almost £1000.
Previous to this meetings of non-conformists had been held in several locations. The first licence in 1817 was for a meeting in Lower Sprotbrough, others are recorded at Sprotbrough Mill in 1830 and Levitt Hagg in 1851. During the 1920's when land in the village was sold for building, new residents including Methodist families arrived. In 1928 Cottage meetings were held in Park House, Park drive, the home of the late Mr. E. A. Spink.
As attendance grew, the congregation moved to the rear of Park House, into an upstairs room in the old stable block called 'The Granary'. An article in the 1929 Easter edition of "The Methodist Recorder", details this and is entitled "Pioneer Work At Doncaster". This building was owned by Mr John Todd who in 1934 gave the land on which the Church stands. Mr Sam Marshall who owned the adjacent corner plot also gave this to the Church, forming the present plot of Church, Hall, and tree.
When the church was first built, it was intended that the sycamore tree would eventually be removed and a much bigger church be built. However, the need for such a large building has not really arisen, and the tree has become part of our heritage, and is now protected by a Preservation Order.¨During the second World War the Church was used as a day school for evacuees in the village and surrounding area. The Ministry of Food too had an office.
As the Church grew in the 1950's, an additional building for a Sunday School was planned, and in 1962 was completed, built by Mr. Bernard Pigott, a Church member. The Service of Dedication on 18th August 1962 was conducted by Rev. David Macdonald. During his term, alterations to the vestibule, pulpit and a new communion rail were undertaken, the metal work from that project is incorporated into the current communion rail, including the fish.
In 1978 the church roof was found to be unsafe, affecting the side walls, both of which had to be removed and rebuilt. At this stage new heating, lighting, and insulation improvements were undertaken, the Church hall being used for worship during this period. The Church was reopened at Easter 1980.
In 1984, the two buildings were joined together making use of a government sponsored scheme which involved us paying only for materials, providing the Lounge and the three Sunday School rooms.¨In 1997 the old vestibule was removed and replaced by the present entrance, which gives the Church its modern look. The fundraising for the estimated cost of £20,000 was matched pound-for-pound with a £20,000 donation to the Methodist Church in Varna, Bulgaria. (Though the final cost for the Entrance was nearer £28,000).
The large window in the Entrance symbolises the theme of WOW! "Window on the World": that the congregation should look outwards to the needs of the world, and the world outside can look in, particularly seeing the Cross above the communion table, which is always illuminated at night.
In 2002 work was undertaken to extend and improve the facilities in the hall, this inlcuded a much improved kitchen area along with additional toilet space and storage. The main hall was improved with health and safety in mind. We were grateful for a substantial donation from WREN which enbaled this work to be completed.