ON Saturday, August 1 members of Lansdowne Crescent Methodist Church gathered for a short open-air service to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone exactly 150 years ago.

The Minister, Reverend Alison Richards, told us of the difficulty the early Wesleyan Methodists had in finding a site, because Lady Foley owned much of the land, and didn’t want the non-conformist chapels competing with the Priory.

Eventually £430 was paid for land which was owned by Lea and Perrins, and Mr (later Sir) Francis Lycett, the church’s first treasurer, laid the foundation stone. The architect, John Tarring of London, planned a light, open building in the Gothic style which was unusual for a Methodist Church.

After a service with hymns, readings and prayers, coffee and tea was served in the Welcome Room. Everyone enjoyed a special cake made by Carole Preece, complete with foundation stone on icing decorated to look like the Malvern stone of the building. The cake was cut by Christopher Davis, whose family has been connected with the church for over a century.

This was the first celebration of the 150th Anniversary. Many more events are planned for 2016, the anniversary of the opening of the building for worship.


Caption: The people on the cake-cutting photo are (left to right) Cynthia Merriman, Roy Holland, Christopher Davis and Rev Alison Richards.