West Wickham Methodist Church

History

The church was founded in 1934, originally worshipping in a building that is now the church hall before the current church building next door was built in the 1960s.

Appearance

The church interior has a light, modern feel to it. Most of the decoration is at the front of the church, including a large wooden cross which draws one’s view towards the front. There are banners on either side of this cross, and smaller ones on the pulpits; these were green, which may have been due to the church currently being in Ordinary Time.

An organ is on the right hand side of the church, and notice boards at the back. There are no pews, but rather separate cushioned chairs facing the front. The hymn numbers are displayed on boards at the front, with hymn books found in the back of the chairs.

Clergy

The service was taken by a gentleman in a smart suit and tie, who was a visiting preacher. A lady from the congregation played the organ, and others gave the Bible readings.

Congregation

When I arrived, I was welcomed by some of the members of the congregation, who told me that they were mainly “old ladies.” The congregation numbered 33 people (not including myself), only six of whom were male and none of whom appeared to be below 35, most over 50. The congregation was predominantly white, with two couples of an ethnic minority.

Several members of the congregation approached me before and after the service to welcome me to their church, and were very friendly.

Service

The service began at 10:30 with notices, and the preacher started the service with Psalm 107:1-9 being read with responses. This was followed by a hymn, and then prayers of confession and the Lord’s Prayer.

The preacher then told the congregation a story warning about greed. After another hymn came the Bible readings (Colossians 3:1-11 and Luke 12:13-21) and the sermon, during which he quoted John Wesley. The theme of the service was about avoiding greed, and the preacher made the good point that if first century fishermen and peasants were warned about greed, how much more that warning applies to us today.

Another hymn followed the sermon, after which a collection was taken. After this came prayers of intercession, and the service concluded with a blessing after a final hymn.

The service lasted for an hour.

Afterwards

Tea, coffee and biscuits were served at a table at the back of the church after the service. Most of the congregation stayed behind to talk over refreshments.

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