The first Methodist Church opened in Cottingham in 1808 and a second larger church, with a gallery for the growing congregation, was built alongside in 1878. But sadly, the buildings have had to be closed.
The family of worshippers at Cottingham Methodist Church placed a bunch of golden roses with the note below on the door of the Church. They also provided the following farewell message: “After over 200 years of service and worship, and despite our best efforts, our beloved Methodist Church has been closed. We would like to thank all of you who, over the years, have supported us and joined us in worship and friendship.”
Statement from Reverend Andrew Farrington, Superintendent Minister, Kettering & Corby Methodist Circuit.
It is with sadness that I report that Cottingham Methodist Church will no longer be used for worship or by the community.
I offer a highly edited history. In the mid-1700s, Rev’d John Wesley, a minister of the Church of England, observed the need for greater spiritual awareness throughout the country. He commenced a relentless tour by horse-back throughout the land, preaching on hillsides and in marketplaces, urging people to study their bibles, pray, and worship (in their local parish church). Such was the success of this mission, he established a methodical means of organising people into small house group fellowships known as classes. This was the start of the spiritual movement known as methodism. Gradually the local class societies found the need to establish their own places to worship. Thus, the Methodist Church began. Rev’d John Wesley died in 1791.
Just 17 years later, in 1808, the first Methodist Church was opened in Cottingham. A second, and larger, church with a gallery for the growing congregation was built in 1878. These premises, together with the view of St Mary Magdalene Church, are the welcome first sight you receive of the village as you journey from Corby into Cottingham.
Over the years, the Methodist premises have welcomed generations of families at worship. They have helped mark life’s journeys of baptism, marriage, and death. Fayres and concerts, fellowships and meetings have been held – each helping to sustain the village community. The rooms have witnessed times of joy, hope, sadness, and tears. Many people have given generously of their time, gifts, and graces. The word of God has been expounded. The love of Christ has been shared. The Holy Spirit has moved.
The challenge of maintaining premises, keeping pace with legislation and other regulations has become increasingly difficult to achieve and sustain. After some period of prayerful consideration, the decision has been taken to designate the buildings as ‘mission served’.
Although there is no longer a designated Methodist building, continuing pastoral care is being offered to the church membership; weekly worship and fellowship is planned at the nearest Methodist Church in Kingswood, Corby; and St Mary Magdalene CofE continues to be a place of Christian worship and welcome in the village. A member of the Methodist ministry team is a governor at Cottingham CofE Primary School. In its’ way, this is how the article began: people of faith bearing witness to that faith in their homes and community.
I wish to thank everyone who has helped sustain the life of the Methodist Church at Cottingham. It is a privilege to serve in this community. I look forward to meeting with you at village events.
May the peace of Christ be with you.
Click on the images to enlarge.