26 September 2017
Created by Barry Thompson © 2011-2017 Aston on Trent on Trent Local History Group, all rights reserved
Aston on Trent - Methodist Church The village Methodist Church has a more recent history. Early Methodists attended the local parish church for formal worship and held meetings for prayer and fellowship in their own private houses; almost certainly the case at Aston on Trent. This changed in the early 19th century when an “Indenture of Assignment” was drawn up under which a group of thirteen Methodists agreed to pay Saint George Smith of Derby, gentleman, the sum of £220 for: “…all that chapel or building lately erected by the said several persons and parties on the site of the barn that stood in the yard belonging to house, bakehouse and hereditaments for the public worship of Almighty God, together with all houses and outhouses.” This first Wesleyan Methodist Church stood opposite the Malt Shovel (on the same site as the present church) and was opened in 1829. Thomas Halladay, a blacksmith living in Aston, with others from Derby, became the first Trustees and it was their responsibility to: “permit and suffer such persons as shall be appointed at the yearly conference of the people called Methodists to have and to enjoy free use of the said chapel and premises to preach and expound therein God’s Holy Word according to the Deed Poll executed by REV. JOHN WESLEY, Master of Arts dated 28th February 1784….” In 1966 the Trustees reported that the existing chapel was in need of urgent and major repair with the two adjoining cottages being unfit for human habitation. At this time there were 26 adult members, 3 junior members, a Women’s Fellowship of 12, a teenage youth club of 10 and a Sunday School of 35. Discussions began between the Methodist and Anglican congregations as to the feasibility of building a new Methodist Church on Anglican land. It was envisaged that this would be a multi-functional building to be used by both denominations. The official position from both hierarchies argued that it would be unwise to proceed with any firm commitment. As a result the chapel and cottages were demolished and the present church opened on 14th October 1967. There remains an active Methodist presence in the village today including weekly worship by the Minister or preachers from the local Circuit. Relationships with All Saints’ Church are positive and united services are held during the Christian year. The adaptability of the present building makes it suitable and available for activities including monthly coffee mornings, luncheon clubs, craft clubs and village events. The Methodist Church is positively engaged with the local community.