METHODIST CHURCH WHITSTABLE
OUR HISTORY... the St John's time line
1813 Cottage Meetings held in a private house
1819 The first church was built of wood in Middle Wall. 52 members. Whitstable population - 1926.
1831 The first organ was acquired.
1857 Wooden church demolished and new brick building opened
1862 Building extended by 20 feet, but still not big enough for expanding congregation. A new site was sought. A larger second-hand organ was purchased, for £130, and a choir was formed to lead singing in the period before it was installed.
1865 Present site in Argyle Road bought for £250. Fund-raising commenced.
1868 Memorial Stones were laid in June, and the building was completed in October, and opened by the President of the Wesleyan Conference. The organ was moved to the new chapel. 1869 Opening of the rebuilt organ.
1874 Old church sold to the Baptists for £500
Late 1800s Many problems with echoes, draughts, lighting, heating and damage to the windows by catapults.
1896 Contract with FH Browne to tune and maintain the organ. They have maintained and rebuilt the organ almost continuously to the present day.
1932 The union of three branches of Methodism, and the change of name to St. John’s Methodist Church, Whitstable.
1957 Albert Street Church closed (former Primitive Methodist Chapel). The members joined St John’s.
1968 Centenary celebrations held. Church members 245
1974 Major refurbishment, with removal of pews and alteration of the organ gallery, pulpit and communion area. Toilets, a vestry and coffee bar installed, stacking chairs bought and a new communion table, pulpit and communion rails made.
1990s Vestry and choir vestry knocked into one to form the New Room.
2007 Redevelopment programme. The sanctuary was turned round and the old entrance to the church flanked by an office and the Argyle Room. The School Room, which was a separate building, became the Wesley Room. A new structure was erected to join the two buildings together to provide a bright lobby accessed via an entrance ramp. It included a new kitchen and toilets, a vestry and two meeting rooms named the Epworth Room and the Aldersgate Room. This new structure also enclosed a small cloister.
2008 The refurbishment was completed, and a service of dedication was held in June.