Audlem Methodist Church is pleased to share its facilities with the Audlem community and is therefore ready to receive booking enquiries from appropriate groups and organisations. (Meetings and activities must be compatible with church purposes. Bookings of a party political nature will not be considered. No alcohol is allowed on the premises.)
We recognise that other community facilities are available in the village and we have no wish to undermine these. Our recommended levels of donations (in lieu of rent) will therefore be at least equivalent to what is charged elsewhere.
As we have no caretaker or cleaner we are only able to accept bookings on a limited scale and will only consider those that will make 'light' demands on premises, furniture and fittings. (ie no sports, games, dancing, children's parties, etc.) We expect those using the premises to clean them after use. Instructions, equipment and materials are provided.
As we have no storage facilities available for those who book the premises, anything brought onto the premises should be removed immediately after the booking. A 'no smoking' policy operates in all rooms.
With the exception of one-off bookings, groups are required to provide their own public liability insurance, and evidence of this will need to be presented. (Our insurers, Methodist Insurance, 0161 833 9696, may be able to help, if required.) Enquires about room use should be made to Mrs Christina Lawson, email@example.com.
It is thought the pipe organ was originally built by Ernest Wadsworth about 1900. Before being sited where it now is, it was in the Primitive Methodist chapel in Cheshire Street. It was re-built at its present location in the mid-1930s when the Audlem Primitive and Wesleyan congregations came together. It is a two manual tracker action organ, with pneumatic pedals. In 2002 it was thoroughly cleaned and overhauled by Longstaff & Jones, organ builders from Telford.
The stops on the organ are as follows:
- Great organ: Open Diapason 8', Clarabella 8', Principal 4', Fifteenth 2'.
- Swell organ: Open Diapason 8', Dulciana 8', Voix Celeste 8', Horn 8', Principal 4'.
- Pedal organ: Bourdon 16'
In 2002, a refurbishment project created a splendid new kitchen. Since then, the Church has significantly developed its catering programme. Every few weeks Sunday lunch is prepared, on the last Wednesday of every month lunch follows the midweek service, soup lunches are served every Sunday during Lent and, in Holy Week, there is a meal on Maundy Thursday. Occasional meals are prepared at other times, for a whole variety of reasons. (A marvellous banquet was served at the conclusion of the 2012 Break-In Weekend.)
On Friday 5 July, a Church Family Birthday Meal is being served as part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations. (All tickets have gone!)
The Sweepers' Club
The Sweepers' Club meets on the first Saturday of every month at 10.00 am. Its task is to keep the church paths, pavement and car park free from leaves, litter and other debris. Members bring their own brush and 'meetings' never last longer than one hour. New members are always welcome!
2006 was a significant year in the development of the Audlem Methodist Church premises. That summer, various alterations and improvements were made to the chapel. They included:
- re-doing the main entrance and adding disabled access at the main chapel door,
- making the main entrance and porch area more open and welcoming,
- creating a useable gallery over the porch, providing a proper technical area for the musicals and congregational seating at other times,
- simplifying and extending the communion area, offering greater safety and greater flexibility,
- refurbishing the present windows, and
- attending to various health and safety concerns.
These improvements were pondered for three years. Back in 2003 it was appreciated that the chapel would be the next area for redecoration. Was there any work to be done before redecoration? The 2006 scheme grew from there. It was the subject of three different General Church Meetings and numerous Church Council and Property Committee meetings.
Architect's sketches and approximate costings were considered and a decision to proceed finally taken in October 2005. It was understood that the scheme would cost about £100,000 and that at least half of that would have to be raised locally. A Chapel Development Appeal was launched and members and friends responded with tremendous generosity. The scheme went out to tender at the beginning of March 2006 and, at the end of March, a tender was accepted from Redfern & Strickland. The work began in June and was completed in October of the same year.