A north Northumberland church, which has been in use for more than a century, will be hosting its last service next weekend.
Alnmouth Methodist Church, on Shepherd’s Hill on the way into the village, was built in 1891 on land bought from the Duke of Northumberland with money raised by the congregation.
The impressive building can hold 320 people, but over the years numbers have dwindled to the point where the church is no longer viable. Only 10 people make up the congregation now.
But it is hoped that the final service, taking place at 2.30pm on Sunday, March 24, will see the church returned to former glories as the whole village has been invited.
Church steward Robin Winder said that they expect a full house on the day.
It isn’t all over for the village’s Methodist following though, with services in the future to be held at the original chapel on Chapel Lane.
This is where John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, is said to have preached in 1742, which means that the congregation is returning to its centuries-old roots.
The pulpit and some of the pews are also being transferred to the old chapel, taking some of the church’s history into its new future.
And in another nod to new beginnings, baby Alexa-Joy Potter, Robin’s granddaughter, is to be baptised as part of next Sunday’s final service. Nonetheless, it still marks the end of an era for the Methodists in Alnmouth.
Caroline Martin, who has a long association with the church and remembers going there for Sunday school as a four-year-old, described it as a ‘very sad’ occasion.
“We did try to look at other alternatives, but they didn’t work out,” said Robin.
Local schoolchildren have been involved in the final service as well with the church hosting a poster competition for the pupils of Hipsburn First School.
The posters will be used to advertise the service around the village. “It’s about getting young people involved and knowing the history of their village,” added Robin.