Wesley Centre Harrogate: A Place of Welcome, Acceptance, Renewal, Refreshment and Resource
Who are we?
As the Methodist Church in the town centre the members of Wesley Chapel have always sought to express their faith and values by serving the whole community, presenting opportunities for all to give as well as receive. Our location offers a platform for engagement with community and volunteer services, civic concerns, and commercial enterprises.
The existing congregation of Wesley Chapel value being part of the work and mission associated in being at the centre of the town but they recognise that this is now much bigger than any single congregation or community group could or should attempt. Furthermore, activities and needs which the church in the past have responded to are now being carried out by a variety of community groups and there is an increased understanding that working in partnership with voluntary and charitable groups is the way forward.
In 2012 the Wesley Chapel congregation took a significant and brave decision and invited the Nidd Valley Methodist Circuit to take over as Managing Trustees in order to provide the extra resources and support required to enable the development of new community outreach activity. This move will also provide the opportunity for an increased and wider vision while allowing the Wesley Chapel congregation to continue their Sunday worship and related social activities.
It is our desire that through the Wesley Centre there will be imaginative witness and engagement with the weekday world that passes by in great numbers and become a place of meeting between sacred and secular; where faith and spirituality is relevant to workplace, government, business, social and community needs.
We are also seeking to offer a variety of different worship styles at the Wesley Centre, not only through the traditional Methodist Circuit, but also with other Christian groups with whom we are developing good working relationships.
The development of the new Wesley Centre offers significant opportunities - today’s society is flexible and fast moving – so the church needs to be equally flexible and increasingly inclusive and relevant now and in the future. That flexibility will have to be built into everything we do. Now there is a challenge!
The building - a very large neo-classical chapel situated in the centre of Harrogate, designed and built by Lockwood and Mawson is of 1862 origin, a grade two listed church building and a dominant landmark in the town. Originally built for a large residential Victorian community and focused on a prominent preaching ministry the chapel is now surrounded by shops and offices, and over the years changes have been regularly made in order that the congregation can continue their mission in a changing environment.
Major redevelopments occurred in 1904, 1960 and 1994; the last of these brought the building in-line with disability access legislation, including ramp access and the installation of a lift.
As the Methodist Church in the town centre the members have always sought to express their faith and values by serving the whole community, presenting opportunities for all to give as well as receive. Our location offers a platform for engagement with community and volunteer services, civic concerns, and commercial enterprises.