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Historic Methodist Church in Malton starts work on the repair of its roof


Contractors appointed by the historic Methodist Church in Saville Street, Malton, have started work on the repair of the roof to its Grade II* listed building. The work is the first phase of a proposed £1.5 million sympathetic transformation of the building to better equip it – not only as a place of worship in the 21st century – but for it to become a centre which visitors and the whole community can use and enjoy in the heart of Malton, and with its doors open to all each day of the week.

The historic Church, which has been on the current site in Saville Street for more than 207 years considered options for its continuance in the town following the discovery of significant structural issue with its roof in September 2015. The discovery followed a routine maintenance inspection of the property, following which the building was temporarily closed on the advice of safety consultants.

Working closely over the last two years with the Listed Buildings Advisory Committee of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, Historic England, and other statutory consultees, the Church has been able to develop its long-term plans for the building – and this progress has now provided enough confidence for the roof repair work to proceed.

The cost of the £100,000 roof repair is being met through the generosity of a £35,000 grant from the Methodist people in giving to the Fund for Property, a £25,000 grant from the Ryedale Circuit of the Methodist Church, a grant of £10,000 from the National Churches Trust, through an insurance settlement, and the cost of VAT through the Listed Places of Worship VAT Recovery Scheme.

Speaking about the start of the roof works last week, the Minister of Malton Methodist Church, the Revd Tanya Short said:

“This is a huge step forward for us, and we’re so grateful to all our funders in helping to make this possible. It paves the way for us to finalise our plans for the main re-development of the building and to start this work in early 2019.”

Following completion of the roofing works towards the end of March, the building will be open every day for visitors, and a permanent exhibition will be displayed about the historic building and the main plans for its transformation.

These include the re-instatement of a three-storey adjoining annex to the rear of the building – with a variety of different sized meeting rooms available for use by all the community; a professionally equipped catering kitchen to meet the multi-functional needs for banqueting, conferences, meetings and events in the large and unique setting of the main building; new cloakrooms, a quiet room for daily reflection, significant but sympathetic changes to the interior of the building, partly re-purposing it as a 550-seat concert hall – including the re-instatement of a large historic pipe organ – and the creation of a new café experience adjacent to the entrance on Saville Street.

The Revd Tanya Short added:

“Whilst the building is open again following the roof repair, we want as many people as possible to come and see it, and to view our plans for the main-redevelopment. We shall be using it again during the rest of 2018 for a number of special events, and organisations in the town will be welcome to use it freely in its current form, by arrangement during this period. As a Church, Methodism has always been about providing a welcome to everyone in its community, and to being hospitable. It’s our way of saying thank you too.

Methodism, which was founded by John Wesley in 1738, is a part of Malton’s heritage and the first Methodist Church in the town was established in Old Maltongate during the 18th Century, before the present building was erected in 1811. Following its major redevelopment in 2019, the historic building is to be re-branded as The Wesley Centre, Malton.”

Speaking about the future plans for the historic building, Paul Emberley, Development Lead for The Wesley Centre project, said:

“According to a recent ComRes opinion poll, more than four in five Britons (83%) agree that the UK’s churches, chapels and meeting houses remain an important part of our heritage and community life.

We have a tremendous asset here on our door step and once re-developed, it will help to meet the needs of a growing community in Malton, which is expected to see its population increase by 40-50% within 10 years.

As the largest building of its kind in Ryedale, we intend to ensure its sustainability for many more generations to come; fundraising has been underway for The Wesley Centre since the summer of 2016 and we’re making good progress – but we’ll need everyone’s support in the community to help realise our vision.”

Further details of The Wesley Centre project will be unveiled in March.