Shirley Methodist Church focal point for 75 years
In 2006 the Shirley Methodist Church celebrated 75 years of serving its community.
The church which started life with less than 40 parishioners.
During the 1920s, Shirley was a prosperous and fast-growing area of suburbia but with only one parish church where people could worship. A group of Methodists purchased some land on the corner of two main roads to one day build a church and in 1931 following hard work by 13 members of the neighbouring Addiscombe Methodist Church.
In February 1931 the first Methodist church opened in Shirley with a membership of 38. In 2006 the church boasted nearly 180 members, and is part of Croydon Methodist Circuit and is one of nine included in the Churches together in Shirley network, a fellowship of local churches that works to transform the community.
Lucy Rogers is one of the church's longest-serving members and remembers first visiting it as a 12-year-old girl. She said: "I have always lived in Addiscombe and originally went with my family. I remember first of all attending guides at the church and it went from there. I joined other groups".
The original structure of Shirley Methodist Church, which opened In 1931, inset the church's first minister Reverend Maurice Hart and the church became an integral part of my life.
"I suppose it's as good a Methodist church as any so why not continue to go there? But it's always had a very strong and active community there, which is one of the reasons I have stayed there. It's a special church."
Among the many old photographs used in the display are images of the church's first minister, Reverend Maurice Hart.
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