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Local Lore has it that Catshill was named after St Chad, Bishop of York and Mercia in 669 AD, but there is no evidence in legal or parochial records that supports this theory.
First "Primitive Methodists" in Catshill
It is suggested (in a booklet called "Our Chapel" written by Rev Arthur Wilkes in 1931) that about 100 years earlier, in 1831, the first Primitive Methodists met in a rented room in Barley Mow Lane in Catshill. These early pioneers, men and women of faith and vision, undaunted by opposition and often physical violence, were the founders of the church in Catshill.
First Methodists buildings
The first purpose built chapel, erected in 1866, stood at the front of the current car park (adjacent to the footpath) and cost £198 to build (see picture on left)
The next addition was a Youth Hall at the rear of the premises to cater for the needs of growing youth organisations. The picture here shows it looking through the alleyway between the 1866 chapel and the 1910 schoolroom.
The current church building
By the 1960's, the two original buildings had become insufficient for the congregation and so plans were drawn up for the building that stands today, which was opened in October 1968. The picture on the left shows the laying of the foundation stone by Ken Wilkes, the Rev Tony Bullock and the architect, Don Cornfield.
The picture on the right shows the completed building.
Replacing the old Youth Hall
In the late 1980's it was decided that the original youth hall, which was really "past its sell by date" needed replacing and at the same time we should add on a first floor area to provide a few more meeting rooms. We therefore demolished the old hall (which was always meant to be a temporary building) and opened up the rear of the church so that the new hall could be attached rather than separate and to provide an area for four new rooms upstairs. The two pictures show "work in progress" with the left picture showing the rear of the church being opened in readiness for the new hall and the picture on the right showing the new hall roof being added. The new youth hall and extra rooms were opened in December 1991.
Latest changes (to the front of the building)
When the current building was designed it was always envisaged that the front could be extended outwards as required, and in 2014 we finally achieved that ambition by building on a glass fronted porch area (seen left). This has given us more space, has made the church lighter and we hope allowed those passing to see what goes on inside (before there was just the old solid wall that meant unless you were willing to venture inside you had no idea what went on there!)
We also created a coffee area (see right) with a new kitchen plus a toilet for those less able, and we also built a new ramp to give better access to the bottom level of the church (the original ramp was too steep)