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Minster Lovell Methodist Church
Upper Crescent, Minster Lovell, Witney, OX29 0RT
  • Feb 20, 11:00 am - Mr Andrew Maisey
  • Feb 27, 11:00 am - Rev'd Fred Ireland
  • Mar 6, 11:00 am - Mr Eddie Fowler
  • Mar 13, 11:00 am - Ms Mary Blow
Minster Lovell

The Village

The village is divided into two by the river Windrush and B4707. The 'Old village' situated to the North with its thatched cottages, historic Anglican Church and the Ruins of Minster Lovell Hall is a visitor attraction.
There is a large Cricket and Football ground with a Sports Pavilion also in the old village, on the banks of the Windrush.
The Old Swan Hotel and Conference Centre is where Harold Wilson spent his Honeymoon.

The Methodist Church is to the South at the bottom of the main road which runs through the upper village.
The Upper village once just housed with Charterville allotments, but has since had a lot of infilling with houses and bungalows plus two small housing Estates.
There are two public houses, five shops two of which are general and food including a Post Office, one sells Pine Furniture, also a Butchers and a hairdresser.
There is a village church Hall.


The Conveyance of land was made on 2nd December 1858.
The conveyance was from Freer and Holland to :-
Richard Early — Blanket Manufacturer
Samuel Sea — Ironmonger
Edward Pritchett — Farmer
Nathaniel Howse — Gentleman
Henry Early — Blanket Manufacturer
Richard Canning — Hairdresser
William Price — Weaver
Thomas Bartlett — Labourer
John Basson — Labourer
Thomas Busby — Labourer
Thomas Hearse — Labourer
Masfen Hart — Farmer
Rev. Robert Sherwell

A certificate of worship was granted on 14.02.1861

The first Trustees (responsible for the upkeep of the property, and to ensure regular worship) were appointed on 1st May 1896

Trustees came from around the Methodist Circuit as well as from the village.
In 1977 'Trustees' were replaced by 'Church Councils' which are made up from local members. The chairman of the Church Council is always the current Minister responsible for that Methodist Church.

The Trustees listed in 1972 were as attached:-

Those recorded in the minute book in 1974 were:-
Mr Gilbert Griffin, Mr Kenneth Mumford, Mr Ronald Glithero, Mr Earnest Pocock from the Circuit
Mr Earnest Bowles, Mrs Millicent Warner, Mr John Prior, Mrs Valery Prior, Mr Fredrick Brooks, Mrs Gladys Brooks, Mrs Doreen Howse, Mr John Haley and Mrs Dawn Haley.

A certificate of marriage was granted on 26.06.1928, but the registrar for marriages had to be present. This changed in 1997 when a licence was granted for the Methodist Ministers to deal with the legal documents. A safe had to be purchased to secure the marriage register.

An additional room (with coal fire) was added in June 1913

In 1972/3 the outside bucket toilet for the ladies was turned into a water toilet, and the outside gent's toilet was turned into a kitchen.

In 1972 the small piece of land at the N/W corner was compulsory purchased by the District council for £5. The council rebuilt the wall and paid solicitors fees of £31.

The main building was furnished as most Wesleyan Chapels at the time with a raised pulpit and raised area for the communion table and rail. The seating was of long fixed wooden pews, each seating four people or five with a squeeze. The floors were wooden with no covering. The walls had wooden panelling all round to a height of 3ft 8 inches.

The building was heated by a coal burning tortoise stove and lit by oil lamps.

Electricity for lighting came in the 1940's, but the tortoise stove and coal fire remained until the 1960's

Music for worship was supplied by a large wind organ which was replaced in (Possibly the late 1960's), by an electric organ.

In 1932 the Methodist Union between Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists was formed, giving the trustees of both the Wesleyan and the Primitive chapels the opportunity to work and worship together.

In Minster Lovell by the 1940's there was one congregation alternating weekly services.

In 1975 Mrs Dawn Haley re-started the Sunday school which resulted in 60 young people from the village attending and the facilities of St Kenelm's hall being used. Later Mrs Hickman ran the Sunday School but
due to lack of numbers and health and safety measures the Sunday school was closed in 2005

Over the years the times of the services have changed. In the 1900's Sunday school used to be at 11.00 am and the Sunday service at 6.00 pm. There was also a Wednesday evening service.

In 1964/65, due to the fall in members and the cost to keep two buildings open the Trustees of the Primitive chapel agreed to its closure.

In 1983 the raised communion area was extended ( By Mr Fred Brooks) to make a small stage for the Sunday school to perform Christmas and Anniversary plays. Also the luxury of a strip of carpet was laid to the aisle and raised communion area.

In 1997 the Church council undertook a complete refurbishment. This was dedicated to the memory of the late Fredrick (Fred) Brooks.

The members of the Church council responsible for the work were:-

Rev, Susan Holden
Mrs Gladys Brooks
Mr John Haley
Mrs Dawn Haley
Mr David Haley
Mrs Margaret Lawley
Mr Christopher Hickman
Mrs Barber Hickman
Mr Tim Blake
Mrs Sylvia Blake

The small kitchen became a toilet suitable for the disabled. The toilet became a small kitchen.

The raised pulpit was removed to be replaced by a movable pulpit made by Mr Fred Neville of Winey, and the pews were replaced by comfortable chairs. Carpet was laid to the floors in the main building and meeting room. Electric water heaters now supply hot water to both the kitchen and the toilet.


Weekly Christian Worship
Prayer Meetings
Fellowship Meetings
Pastoral care in the community
Serving the community

Year 2000 Community Time Capsule

On July 7th. 2000 a community time capsule was buried in the grounds of Minster Lovell Methodist Church. The contents are from a cross section of the community.

It is the intention of the Church Council that the capsule remains buried for at least 100 years. If the Church is sold before the capsule is removed we would want the buyer to either allow the community to bury it elsewhere or to allow its removal after 100 years. The capsule is positioned to the North of the Church as shown on a relevant plan. A concrete cap marks the spot. Some photos and details remain in the Church safe.

150th Anniversary 2011

Sunday 13th February 11.00 am — Banner Family Service.
The Banner will be on display at this service
Monday 14th February 11.00 am — A short act of worship prior to the Banner being hoisted to the outside of the building. Refreshments will be served
Sunday 20th February 11.00 am — 150th Family Service
Sunday 13th March 11.00 am — 1st Sunday in Lent — Starting the 'Lenten Cross'.
Friday 22nd April 6.00 pm — Good Friday Service conducted by the District Chairman the Rev Peter Hancock. A tea will follow the service.
Sunday 24th April 11.00 am — 150th Easter Service — Decorating the Lenten Cross.
Children's Easter egg Hunt.
Saturday 25th June from 11.00 am — FLOWER FESTIVAL — Through the decades.
Saturday 25th June from 1.30 pm — VILLAGE DAY in the fields opposite the Hall. Stalls, games, fancy dress, refreshments, face painting, and more.
Sunday 26th June 11.00 am — Anniversary Service led by Rev Susan Holden.
Sunday 26th June 6.00 pm — Circuit Anniversary Service led by Rev Susan Holden.
Sunday 25th September 11.00 am — 150th Harvest Festival.
Monday 26th September 6.00 pm — Harvest Supper and distribute gift boxes.
Wednesday 12th October 12.00 noon — Special Celebration for 'Welcome Circle'.
Wednesday 16th November 2.00 pm — Service of Remembrance for Loved Ones.
Sunday 18th December 6.00 pm — Victorian Carol Service followed by seasonal refreshments.
Sunday 25th December 10.30 am — Christmas Family Service.


We are an open friendly group who are more than pleased to welcome everyone to all of our services and events which are as follows:-

Sunday service — 11.00am — 12.00noon (except when it is Café Church)
Bi- monthly Café Church 1st Sunday in the month from August 2016.
Wednesday Prayer time — Anglican/Methodist united prayers for the village and beyond at 11.30 — 12.00
The 1st Wednesday of each month at 85 Brize Norton Road
The 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Vicarage Upper Crescent.

Bi- monthly united services with St Kenelm's Church on the first Sunday of the month the next ones being 1st May and then 3rd July.
Welcome Circle is and informal meeting open to everyone it is held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month (except during August) from 2.00-3.30pm where a variety of invited speakers share their knowledge and experiences. The meeting begins with a short act of worship. For details contact Margaret on 01993 775268

Children's activity days — These are organised periodically throughout the year. For details please contact Wendy on: 01993 776059.

Fund raising activates throughout the year including coffee mornings, Cream teas, Christmas Bazaar

For weddings, funerals, baptisms, membership, please contact Rev Melanie Reed on 01993 703178

The meeting room is available for local hire including: committee & AGM meetings, light refreshments after funerals etc.
For further information on any of the above, please contact Dawn on 01993 775675.

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