A Short History of the Mumbles Methodist Church
Christian meeting places have existed in the Oystermouth district since the fifth and sixth centuries and the area came under the influence of the Methodist Revival in about the middle of the 18th Century.
Oystermouth is a large residential and holiday suburb of Swansea, while the immediate vicinity of the church has developed as a shopping area alongside a picturesque coast line. The development of the area has therefore allowed the church to occupy one of the most prominent sites in Mumbles that allows it to provide a worthy witness to Christianity and Methodism in the area.
A place of worship has existed on the site of the present church building since 1814 when a Methodist Preaching House was built in the garden of Mr. William Tucker. It was soon considered inadequate and a second building was opened on the 7th July 1861. Within 3 years the congregation rapidly increased and a larger building was again being considered. However it was not until 1877 that the foundation stone of the present building laid on the 12th July 1877, and it was opened on the 23rd May 1878. During 1988 further improvements were made to the front church foyer and improved access to the rear of the church.
The present Minister is the Rev. Howard Long who is assisted in the pastoral oversight of the church members and adherents by active Pastoral Visitors.
Since 1981 the church has been fortunate to achieve a rapidly increasing membership, not generally experienced by other churches in the Methodist Circuit and District, or other denominations. The present membership is approximately 170 with many additional non-members attending regularly. Attendances on a Sunday morning average about 80 to 100.
It is recorded that the first Sunday School was held in Mumbles in the middle of the 1820’s. Today the church holds a Comet Club for children in the morning with about 23 children on the register.
On the 29th September 2003 a major reconstruction of the church commenced in order to provide an additional first floor to accommodate the worship area. This allowed the ground floor to be used by the community, the Mumbles Tourist Information Centre and a café. Access for the disabled was also provided to modern standards. A new second floor was installed at the rear of the church for various other activities. The vision that prompted the renovation and reconstruction works, “The Open Door Project”, can be read about here.
To follow those renovations in words and photos click here.
The official opening ceremony was conducted by Rev Will Morrey, President of the Methodist Conference on Sunday Sept 26th 2004. Click here to see what happened.
On Friday 29th September 2006 our fundraising target for the Open Door Project was finally reached (two years after the church was re-opened).
The overall cost of building renovations was £1.11 million.
This is how it was done:
Funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, Methodist Church Property Committee & Swansea & Gower Circuit – £858,000
Contribution raised by the church – £252,000
We would like to share with you some comments made by visitors, from the visitors book that is open in the new church.
1. Brenda Lee from Malaysia – Awesome
2. Hugh Porter from China – God is good
3. C. Linquist from Finland – Bless you all
4. T. Ramsay from London – Great Space
5. C Sakalow from Germany – Beautifully done
6. G Bailey from Australia – Wonderful Atmosphere, open and full of light
7. P. Jordan from Singapore – Well MMC
8. C. Mohlin from Sweden – Impressive
9. T Jules from Panama – Sensitive Modern Restoration work
10.G Davies from Australia – Great Building, Godly Sermon
11.G Bladdeck from Canada – Wonderful to see the church outreach to the community
12.L Maghie from Northern Ireland – Thank you for this place of prayer
13.A Howard from Evesham – A peaceful place in a busy world
14.L Storkie from Blackburn – Brilliant – the best in the world
15.E&D Monsey from London – Another beautiful experience