A Brief History of St Martin’s Methodist Church
Methodism first came to this part of Warrington around the early 1820’s when a Mr Vale invited like-minded believers to attend a weekly service to be held at his home on Martinscroft Green on Sunday afternoons. The response was such that a request was made to the nearby Warrington Methodist Circuit to supply a minister to conduct worship each week.
A desire for a chapel soon became evident and the first building was erected and opened for public worship in 1827 on a site now occupied by the Holiday Inn car park, by the bus stop layby off Manchester Road. The chapel was brick built and had a small gallery and was known as the Martinscroft Methodist Chapel.
Throughout the years that followed the spiritual needs of the Methodist community were met by a devoted band of men and women who maintained the chapel and a small Sunday School. Unfortunately the chapel fell on to hard times and for a time in the
1880’s it was closed, and the sale of the building authorised by the Circuit, though happily this was never put into effect. The salvation of Martinscroft Chapel was owed to the labours of Mr David Ellams who sacrificed time, talents and even his livelihood as a market gardener to build up the church once again.
In 1900 the new church was constructed, minus the gallery but using part of the shell of the old building, a pipe organ was donated and installed in 1937.
The building of new estates during World War II, the construction of the M6 and the subsequent loss of farming land, coupled with the retirement and death of many of the old farming stalwarts altered the constitution of the congregation but the church continued to expand, purchasing a RAF Nisson Hut and converting it into a church hall for use by the Sunday School and Youth Club.
In 1973 the Church was the subject of a relocation agreement with the Warrington New Town Corporation who wished to include the land occupied by the Church into what is now the Grange Industrial Estate. In 1974 work commenced on a new church and the new St Martin’s Church and Hall opened on its present site on 8th February 1975. The old Church was finally demolished by the Warrington New Town Corporation in 1977.
Four additional rooms were added to the new Church hall in 1978 creating greater flexibility in the use of that part of the building. Disabled facilities were subsequently included in 2004 and improvements to the Church sanctuary area were made in 2005. This opened out the sanctuary area by replacing the fixed communion rail with moveable sections. More recently in 2010, the original hall flat roof was replaced with a pyramid roof structure that covered both hall and the four room extension.
In the autumn 2013 the Church modernised its heating system replacing old and inefficient boilers with modern wall mounted units and utilising that space to extend and improve the hall kitchen facilities.
We acknowledge with thanks grant aid received for many of these projects from both Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (WREN) and Biffaward. WREN is a not for profit business that awards grants to community projects from funds donated by FCC Environment to the Landfill Communities Fund. Biffa Waste Services Ltd donates landfill tax credits to the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) to administer under the fund name Biffaward.