VICKERSTOWN METHODIST CHURCH

WALNEY ISLAND

(within the Cumbria Methodist District and the South West Cumbria Methodist Circuit)

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Vickerstown on Walney Island comprises two main estates built to provide accommodation for the workers at the Vickers shipbuilding yard across the channel, in Barrow-in-Furness (see map). At the same time as the neat terraces of housing were being built, a piece of land in a dominant position overlooking the channel was given to the Methodist Church for the construction of a chapel. The original building [left] was opened in 1905, its tower being a clearly visible landmark on The Promenade, from whence it could be accessed by a flight known as Dawson Steps.  .

Unfortunately, as time went by it became clear that the site was not ideal. However you approached the building there were many steps to be negotiated. The building was also far too big for the congregation to maintain. The church members decided to build a new, more suitable building to replace the wooden church hall, which could be entered from the pavement of Warren Street without climbing any steps. The current building [above, right] was opened in 1998, and is essentially one room which is used both for worship and weekday activities, with kitchen and toilet facilities. It is relatively easy to maintain, and has a wonderful view up the channel to the Lake District mountains. Because of this, the church has clear glass windows! Until May 2000 the church was also used by the Baptist Group, who found it a lovely building to worship in.

The Sunday service is at 10:45, and is usually attended by between 20 and 30 people. All are welcome, and arrangements are made to look after any young children. On the first Sunday of the month there is usually an evening service at 6:30 - a quieter service for a small group of people. Cubs meet on Friday evenings, and Brownies on Mondays. There is a meeting for women at 2:30 on Tuesday afternoons during the autumn and spring, and an evening speaker meeting on Thursday evenings at 7:30 between the beginning of October and the end of March. In addition, the church provides a welcoming venue for many other activities, and is fully involved with the local ecumenical project.

The minister is David Edmondson, who can be contacted at edmo@twtw.freeserve.co.uk or by telephone: 01229 474601.

Be sure to look at our Millennium Prayer


Additional Historical Note: The site was one of four reserved for the use of nonconformist denominations when the Vickerstown estates were first being developed. The Wesleyan Methodists and the Presbyterians were both eventually successful in establishing their new churches on Walney. But the Congregationalists and the Salvation Army were unable to raise sufficient funds. Around 1881, another chapel had been established by the Methodist New Connexion at North Scale. However, this closed in 1907, whilst St. Andrew's Presbyterian (subsequently United Reformed) Church closed in 1975.

For some pre-Reformation Christian history of the area, our St Columba's page has quite a lot of information, or you might want to read about Furness Abbey.

Visit our Pictorial History of Walney

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