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Walking together: from 1978 to 2016

 left: Westgate Church 1978 - 2016

After uniting to worship together in 1978 we became a single church society and today most of us would find it hard to say just who was "United Reformed" and who was "Methodist". Indeed, we keep a single membership roll and new members are automatically joint members of the two denominations.

 

Following union it was possible to provide additional premises in the form of the Westgate Centre (later called Centre 68, and now the principal premises of |Westgate New Church).

 

There have been major crises affecting the building and our church life, which have not however prevented us continuing to worship and witness.  In 1983 the Westgate church building experienced its second fire and for some months worship took place off the premises, at St Mark's in Lincoln Road.

 

Then, in the first decade of the twentyfirst century it was found that the sanctuary building was affected by dry rot and repair and treatment required, initially on the East side of the building but subsequently also on the West side, at an overall cost of a quarter of a million pounds. To pay for this work the church undertook a period of fundraising from 2003 to 2007, with much help not only from our own members but also from institutional charitable organisations. We thank God and our donors that at the end of this period the church was free of debt.

 

An attempt by the city council to redevelop the area around the church, in 2007-8 ffs, turned out to be overly ambitious and did not proceed, but caused delay in development activities within the church itself. While redevelopment around the church site remained a possibility, the church remained committed to continuing to worship and serve within the city centre.