The first Methodist chapel in Woolston was built by the Wesleyans in Obelisk Road in 1864. It stood on the north side of the road, opposite the entrance to Wooston Lawn. They had decided to have a preaching-place in Woolston in June 1860, and by September 1864 were holding services morning and evening. The chapel was registered for marriages 1 January 1867, and new premises for the Sunday School were opened on 11 July 1907.
The Bible Christians (later United Methodists) built a “school-chapel” in Manor Road in 1899. It was a modest building but there was potential for expansion on the site, standing on the east side of the road between present-day Poole and Peveril Roads. “Our Zions and Bethels,” a review of United Methodist chapels written on the eve of Methodist Union in 1932, says that the building “is quite inadequate to meet the needs of the area, especially as regards accommodation for a large and growing Sunday School … This is distinctly a young people’s church, and their loyalty and enthusiasm cannot be too highly praised.”
The two Societies became one in 1934, building a new chapel on Manor Road (now Manor Road North) and selling the Obelisk Road premises. There were complications, as the two churches were in separate Circuits: the ex-Wesleyan Southampton (St James Road) Circuit, and the ex-United Methodist Southampton (St Mary’s) Circuit. Methodist Union was progressing cautiously, and Woolston would be the first new Methodist Church in Southampton since union. The Hampshire Advertiser 1 April 1933 said that Methodist authorities were considering the implications, and that “the proposed scheme may necessitate some form of amalgamation of the two circuits concerned.” Work with young people was going to be a strong feature of the scheme.
The new church was opened on Wednesday 11 July 1934 by Mrs Bridge, the minister’s wife. “Before thrusting the key in the door and opening the building to the public, Mrs Bridge remarked that it was a beautiful church of which they were all very proud.” (Hampshire Advertiser 14 July 1934) The total cost had been £7,000, £6,000 for the building and £1,000 furnishings. Half of this had been given by an anonymous donor. The architects were Gutteridge and Gutteridge, and the builders G E Prince and Son.
Woolston Methodists still (2020) worship in this building. Down the years, the work with children young people continued, and the Church has been a focus for community activities such as a Thrift Shop, "stay and play," and the Dalian Players.

Woolston Methodist Church, Manor Road North

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Photograph provided by Caroline Ellen, April 2020.

Woolston Methodist Church income, June-August 1940

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Note the morning of 18 August, when there was no service because of an air raid.


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