Wesley Place: Past, Present & Future
The Origins of Wesley Place
Methodism is over 250 years old. Its founder was an eighteenth century Church of England clergyman, the Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791), who, after a converting religious experience on 24th May 1738, travelled throughout the country offering his experience of salvation and assurance to whoever was ready to listen.
As far as we know, Wesley never came to Alsager, even though his travels took him to Congleton, Burslem and Nantwich. It wasn't until after his death that Methodism came to Alsager. In 1804, a small meeting was held in the house of a Mary Cotton, just off Close Lane. In 1834, a one-roomed chapel was opened in Hassall Road which was subsequently extended in 1852. With the advent of the railway, the population of Alsager grew and the premises in Hassall Road were felt to be too small for the expanding congregation. Plans were therefore made to build a second and larger Methodist Church at the other end of the village. The first phase of the church at Wesley Place was completed in 1869. Since then, the original premises have been added to on various occasions, notably in 1969 with the completion of a large modern extension.
The congregation at Wesley Place has grown as Alsager has grown. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 60 members at Wesley Place. By the 1930s this had doubled to 120, and by the end of the 1960s it had doubled again to 250.
Wesley Place Present And Future
Wesley Place continues to be a thriving church. Its membership now stands at around 150, and the services are well attended. It offers many activities, through its organisations, both in terms of worship and social events. Its Mission is to further Christianity within Alsager through its worship and witness.
It is one of the 32 churches which make up the Cheshire South Methodist Circuit. The Circuit is the larger family to which each church belongs, and it provides help and encouragement in all aspects of church life.
Wesley Place is also linked with local churches of other denominations in Alsager. With other local clergy, we meet monthly for consultation and arrange various united activities, particularly at Christmas and Easter. Alsager churches also arrange events to mark the World Day of Prayer, and Christian Unity Week. For further details, contact the Minister.
Wesley Place is determined to be a responsible Church and is starting a transformational project to make its premises modern and eco-friendly whilst also retaining their historic charm This project will take a number of years to complete and will cost a lot of money but will help to safeguard Methodism in Alsager and the surrounding community for decades to come..