Our Church History
In 1821 a small chapel was built on the site of the present Glenfield Methodist Church by a group of Wesley converts from the Anglican Church. Thus were sown the seeds of Methodism in our village. For the next 55 years this building was adequate for a community with a population of less than one thousand. Such was the "harvest of souls", however, that by 1878 much larger premises were needed.
Accordingly, plans were submitted to the quarterly meeting of the Bishop Street circuit, which included Glenfield, for a new chapel to meet the future needs of the Glenfield Methodist Society which now had a membership of 28. Extra land was given by Mr. E. S. Ellis, Chairman of the Midland Railway Company. He also gave a donation of £50 to launch the project. The members themselves raised a further £209 so that the work could begin. The new place of worship was to be built with walls of Groby slate and to be in Early English style. Heating was via a cast-iron stove with paraffin lamps for lighting.
The builder, Mr. H. F. Allen, was also responsible for building the new St. Peter's Anglican Church. The pulpit (now rebuilt into a baptismal font) was made from material obtained from Wycliffe's Church in Lutterworth and Mr. Allen's family made a gift of the chancel stained glass windows. The foundation stone laying ceremony took place on Whit Monday 1876 when over 600 people arrived by train to support the Glenfield Methodists. They paraded through the village before returning to the site of the new chapel for a service of dedication. The new chapel was finally opened on 6th August 1877, the total cost being £844.
By 1894 the heating and lighting systems had both been replaced. The heating was now through hot water pipes and the lighting from the gas mains which had recently been brought into the village. (The gas mantles remained until the early 1930's when electricity arrived.) By 1900 the Sunday School could no longer cope with the large numbers of young people attending. The members met the challenge by raising £1329 and the present Sunday School premises were in use by 1906. Membership reached nearly one hundred by 1930 but the Second World War took its toll and, like so many village churches, Glenfield struggled to keep going.
A scheme of renovation was launched in 1948, including the purchase of a new organ; the original harmonium had worn out in 1913 and a second organ, purchased from Belgrave Hall Methodist Church, was now on its last legs! By 1950, the new organ was in situ. The "village", meanwhile, was taking on a new look with a huge housing programme which presented new challenges, both for our church and for old Glenfield. New young families needed modern facilities and the next three decades saw further extensions to the premises, including the link between the church and school rooms. The church was also re-roofed, the heating system was once more replaced and dry rot was found and dealt with, during which time the membership continued to grow apace!
A major project "FOCUS 125'" incorporating further extensive improvements and compliance with modern legal requirements, took the church into the new millennium. The schoolroom was temporarily used as a place of worship whilst the church was closed for refurbishment in February 2002. The newly refurbished chapel was re-opened and rededicated on Saturday 5th October 2002 and the service was attended by over 100 members and other invited guests. The outside stonework was renovated and replaced in part during August and September 2003. A Publicity group was set up and it was decided to set up a web-site for The Churches of Glenfield with the address www.glenfieldchurches.org.uk. This was officially launched on 1st December 2002 with a demonstration in the church.
On March 17th 2018 we launched 20-20 Vision to raise money to improve the Church buildings.