Closure marks end of an era

The congregation at the last service in Wisbech St Mary Methodist church.

The congregation at the last service in Wisbech St Mary Methodist church.

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A PACKED congregation marked the end of an era at Fenland village church recently.

Wisbech St Mary Methodist Church was filled almost to capacity to witness the Rev Nigel Hannah lead the final service before the chapel closed its doors for the last time.

Flossie Butt, who remembers the first and last services at Wisbech St Mary Methodist Church

Flossie Butt, who remembers the first and last services at Wisbech St Mary Methodist Church

There had been a Methodist place of worship in the village since the late 19th century and the current church opened its doors in 1926 when the original chapel became too small.

The site in High Road saw the Primitive Methodist Chapel dedicated in 1926 when among the congregation was eight-year-old Flossie Butt and she was there on Sunday August 26 for the last service.

Lessons for the final service were read by Don Baber, the Church Treasurer and from the Parish Church Brian Payne a local historian.

Over the years the Methodist Church has formed close associations with the Parish Church for both Sunday Worship as well as midweek events. One such is the popular midweek monthly ‘Tea Service’ which has attracted people from a wide area.

Mr Hannah was assisted by Cannon Matthew Bradbury, who confirmed the ‘Tea Services’ would continue in a similar format but in the Parish Church. He extended a welcome to those present and their friends. The service concluded with prayers followed by reminiscences of many members of the congregation including Flossie, who looked for herself on a picture taken in 1926.