Methodism in Dringhouses
Methodism was introduced into Dringhouses in 1816 and a chapel was built on the corner of Slingsby Grove and Tadcaster Road in 1834. This was used until 1890 when a larger building, known as Dringhouses Chapel was opened on the same site. The last service was held there in 1954, when the building was put up for sale.
The present Church building was erected on West Thorpe and cost approximately £14,000. The new site was about half a mile from the former Chapel and on the west side of the railway in the centre of the newly built Dringhouses council estate. It was opened on 17th July 1954 by Mr. James Lofthouse, one of the loyal Methodists from the old Chapel. At that time the houses around the Church were full of young families and in the early days more than 200 children came regularly to Sunday School.
For some further details of the opening, stone laying and those who contributed, captured in a beautifully illustrated book, please click here to open the WestThorpeBook
The new building was meant to be the first phase of the planned Church and it was hoped that a Sanctuary for Worship would follow. However, finances were low and problems with the new building were many. There was flooding in the basement, problems with the boiler and the grounds were overrun with docks, thick grass and other weeds. In 1966 the Trustees decided not to extend the building but realise capital by selling part of the land to the City Council. This facilitated the surfacing of a car park and a lawn and garden was laid.
In 1985 another room was added, primarily for the Sunday School, which was still attracting a good number of children. This was sympathetically designed to blend in with the original building and was opened by Miss Phyllis Lofthouse, a much loved Church member and daughter of James, mentioned above. Since then many alterations have taken place to make the Church lighter and more accessible for less abled people. An induction loop and loud speaker system has been installed in most rooms and the kitchen has been modernised.