Major Doncaster church to close after 100 years
A Doncaster church will shut next month due to dwindling congregations after over 100 years of worship.
Rossington Methodist Church will hold its last service on Sunday February 24, followed by community celebration of the work that the church has done in the community over the last 100 years.
Pastor Susanna Brookes said the closure was down to the falling numbers, with only around half a dozen worshippers attending most services now.
She said she would miss the church and the people she had met there, and that it had been a privilege to be pastor there for the last five years.
She said: “Rossington Methodist Church has in recent years had a falling number of members, and of those an even smaller number who have been able to take an active role.
“Recently the numbers at worship on a Sunday morning have been as low as three. This is no-one’s fault, but instead a symptom of a congregation who face age and health problems, and the effect of those problems on trying to meet on a Sunday morning.
“We also have had to think about the viability of the maintenance of the premises when folk are not able to do as much as they once were, or would like to be able to safely do.
“We know that this church has been a significant place to many in the village who have grown up through the Sunday School, and used it for family rites of passage like baptisms, weddings and funerals.
“To all of those who have worshipped here with us at Rossington, we have very much valued your support and fellowship, and hope that you will continue to worship with us up until the end of February when, as we close, we will celebrate all that God has done through the life of His church here.”
She said there was an open invitation to the last service and celebration event on February 24, which will look back at the last 100 years work carried out by the church.
The first building on the Methodist chapel site was completed in September 1917, and is now its scout room. Back then it was used as the chapel.
The main hall, vestry and coffee room were opened in June 1921, and the church itself was opened in May 1928. It has also been used by community groups.
It is currently used by the 3rd Doncaster (Rossington) Scout Group, which has been there since 1957, and also the Geddes School of Dance which has been there for the last 10 years.
The church will be put up for sale on the open market.
Church steward Sam Humphreys said he and his wife had been members of the congregation for 50 years. He said it was a big church which had the capacity to hold large congregations.
He added the church also had a memorial inside listing the names of local people who died in World War One and World War Two. That was being offered to the Royal British Legion.
He said: “It is sad. We also have a scout group and a dance group which are looking for new accommodation.
“I’m aged 81, We’ve been going to the church for at least 50 years. I had a photo of myself there with my mum, who died when I was young. The picture was of us at a clinic when I was a two-year-old.
“It has been a great community building. But there was only myself and my wife at the last harvest festival there – it used to be packed.”
He said he thought he would go to the St Michael Church of England church in Rossington after the Methodist church closed.
The nearest Methodist churches will be in Cantley, Tickhill, Bawtry and Auckley.
It is the latest church closure in Doncaster. The Catholic church recently announced it planned to close two of its Chapels of Ease at Carcroft and Finningley.