Minster Methodist Church has closed its doors after 76 years
A church has closed its doors after 76 years after its dwindling congregation felt it was time to move on.
The last service at Minster Methodist Church, in Wards Hill Road, was held on Saturday with more than 100 people attending, including members of the church who had moved away.
Former preachers the Rev Howard Skinner, of Whitstable, and the Rev Tony Graff, currently at Sittingbourne, shared memories with the crowd.
Despite the large turnout, it was in fact dwindling numbers which contributed to the decision to move away from the building, with Sunday gatherings attracting between 15 and 20 people at the most.
The current churchgoers will now go to the United Reformed Church in Hope Street, Sheerness, while some will go to Bethel Congregational in Chapel Street, Minster, because it is closer.
Preacher Judith German, who spoke at the final service, said: “The congregation was generally getting older and not able to continue the pace that was needed to be able to do all the jobs in the church, and it was felt it was best to merge while we still have some energy.
“We are positive about the move. It is just something that we have looked at and we made the decision to share services with Hope Street and Bethel in Minster.
“There is no sadness because the church is the people, not just the building, and we are able to take our memories with us.”
The 41-year-old, from Minster, added a lot of churches at the moment are struggling to attract new members.
Other groups that used the hall have already found alternative homes. A Brownies group has moved to Friendship House in Love Lane and a Scout group has switched to Imperial Avenue.
A playgroup that used to use the site took up the offer of a new home at Minster Primary School.
Rev Tony Graff said it was not known what will happen to the building next as it is owned by the central church.