Thanksgiving service to mark closure of Barrasford chapel

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The life of a chapel which has been at the heart of a Tyne Valley community for 143 years is set to be celebrated.

Barrasford Methodist Church was built to seat 160 people at a cost of £320 in 1877, and opened during what was reported as a "joyous occasion" in May the following year.

Constructed to serve a strong Methodist community, the chapel is unusual among Methodist churches in having a bell to call people to worship. It hosted a special service at the end of the First World War over a century ago in 1918, yet despite the passing of time, has retained its original style and character.

A Thanksgiving service will take place on Sunday 17th October to mark the closure of the chapel and also to reflect on over 140 years of worship and community life at the Victorian building, which has included Sunday school, weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Tynedale Methodist Circuit's Superintendent Minister, Rev Paul Dunstan, said the chapel still had loyal and committed members, but no longer had the numbers to make it viable.

"Barrasford chapel is a wonderful place with a proud history," said Rev Paul. "It has served its community for generations and holds treasured memories for many people.

"Numbers at Barrasford have decreased and the church council felt it was no longer possible to continue, and a decision has been made to cease worship.

"While marking this sad closure, the service is to celebrate the history and the successes of a church which has stood at the heart of community life for almost a century and a half.

"We want to thank all Local Preachers and Ministers for their faithful ministry over the years. To the people of Barrasford and surrounding areas, thanks to all who have worshipped at the chapel, attended Sunday school and other events at this special place."

The earliest reference to Methodism in Barrasford dates back as far as 1828, with the formation of a Wesleyan Society through what was known as the Wark Mission, with a full time local preacher supported by Methodists from Newcastle.

Barrasford Methodist Church marked its centenary with a memorable service and celebration back in 1978.

The service on Sunday 17th October at Barrasford Methodist Church will be led by the Circuit's Superintendent Minister, Rev Paul Dunstan and Deacon Anne Taylor. It will begin at 2.30pm and will be followed by tea in the village hall. All are welcome.

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