New Methodist Church opens on the Riddings Estate

With the building of the new Riddings Estate in Ashby from 1954 there was a need for various public services ranging from shops, a library, community centre and churches to mention but a few.

The first of the two churches to be built on the new Riddings Estate was the Methodist Church on Willoughby Road in 1960 (the Church of the Holy Spirit with the large blue steeple on Willoughby Road opened two years later).

Riddings Methodist Church

Riddings Methodist Church

The Methodist Church was officially opened on Saturday 3rd September 1960 and a report from the time reads;

“Scunthorpe’s new Methodist Church on the Riddings Estate opens at a cost of more than £15,000 and for many people the opening ceremony, performed at 3pm by Mrs. R. Willett, was the realisation of a dream.

“Backed by the local Methodist church authorities, ardent church workers have been labouring towards this new church in one of Scunthorpe’s fastest growing areas in the last six years. Now it’s finished the people of the Riddings estate have a Methodist Church of their own.”

The central feature of the contemporary styled church is the large hall which serves a dual purpose. It has a sanctuary (prayer service area) at one end and a stage at the other, when the stage is in use the sanctuary is closed by a door and the chairs reversed. Seating accommodation is provided for nearly 200 people. In addition there are three main classrooms and a kitchen.

The closure and sale of The Trinity Methodist Church – on the corner of Scunthorpe High Street and Wells Street – enabled grants to be made towards the £15,000 cost of new Riddings church.

The main contractors, W. Pallister Ltd, of Crosby Road, Scunthorpe, kept inside their scheduled finishing time of nine months after the start. A spokesman for the firm said, ” that no difficulties had been encountered and that everything had gone to plan.The contemporary styling of the new building fits well with its surroundings as it is situated in one of the newest areas of the steel town.”

Work among the youth and children of the area was to be the church’s most important task. A large percentage of Scunthorpe’s younger generation live in the Riddings area. To help in this work, Miss Edna Trawford, a Deaconess lent to Scunthorpe District by the Lincoln District, attended the church three to four days a week during the first few months to work as District Youth Evangelist.

The service which followed the opening ceremony was conducted by by the Scunthorpe Methodist Circuit Superintendent Minister, the Rev L. J, Stagg. The dedication sermon preached by former minister of the Ashby Methodist Church, the Rev Leslie Milton.

The following day saw the first Sunday Services being held by Ashby’s new minister, Rev Ralph Waggett at 10am with the evening service conducted by Rev L. J. Stagg.

This wedding photo was taken at the Riddings Methodist Church on 15th November 1975.

This wedding photo was taken at the Riddings Methodist Church on 15th November 1975.

Over the 1960’s/70’s & 80’s the church formed strong bonds with the local community and ran Sunday schools, nursery’s,  youth clubs and had huge Cub Scout, Brownie and Girls Guide movements.

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