History

The History of The Heritage Chapel and Halls

The Heritage Hall was originally built as a church and schoolroom in 1890.

Prior to this, records show there had been a Methodist Society of 15 members in 1781 when Rushden was only a small village, and by 1814 the Society was holding preaching services in cottages.

In 1817, worship took place in an old barn to the north of where the War Memorial now stands on the Green in front of the Parish Church.  The barn was converted to a Chapel about 1827 but, owing to the disruption in the Connexion and the coming into being of the Wesleyan Reform Church, the Society in Rushden closed.

Meetings continued in local houses until Methodism was re-introduced in Rushden in 1888.  Initially the Sunday School was held in the Public Hall in Coffee Tavern Lane, and later in the British Women's Temperance Association (BWTA) Hall on the corner of Newton Road and Park Road (now a vehicle accessory store).

The present Hall was erected in 1890 at a cost of £2,400 including the land, but by 1903 it had become apparent that the congregation could not be contained in that building and it was proposed to build the present Church under the aegis of The Wesleyan Methodist Church.

The formal stone-laying of the present Church took place on Easter Tuesday 1904, and the building was opened on Easter Monday 1905.  It had been erected at a cost of £5,200.

Opening of the new Chapel, Easter Monday, 1905

In 1932 The Wesleyan Methodist Church joined with The Primitive Methodist Church and The United Methodist Church to form The Methodist Church of Great Britain.

Opening of the Foyer linking the two buildings, 1985
Officially opened by Mr John Spavins and dedicated by Rev Alan Taplin

A link joining the two buildings together was opened and dedicated in 1985, and in 1986 the 81-year-old wooden spire was removed from the top of the tower because it was leaning and the timbers were rotting.  On top of the 24ft spire had been a 6ft weathervane.

The Methodist Churches at Rushden and Higham Ferrers joined to form one Church in 2004 and it was named "Hope Methodist Church".

in 2005, English Heritage (now Historic England) classified the premises at Park Road as Grade II listed (number 1393883).

Plans for the redevelopment of the site of the chapel in Higham Ferrers were ongoing and, in 2008, the Hope Methodist Church in Park Road, Rushden, was put up for sale at a price of £500,000.

Despite initial interest from one or two parties, by 2013 there had been no sale forthcoming and the property was put up for auction in June.  The buildings were bought by members of the church congregation.

As a temporary measure, the Methodist Church was invited to hold their services from September at the church hall of the Roman Catholic Church, St Peter Apostle, in Hayway.

The final service held by the Methodists at the Park Road Church was on Sunday, 25th August 2013, and the premises re-opened on Sunday, September 1st, as an independent church called The Heritage Chapel and Halls (HCH).

Initially HCH was managed as a Limited Company, but a group formed from members of the congregation worked towards becoming a Registered Charity which was achieved in 2017 (Charity No. 1174622).  The Charity then worked under contract to the Limited Company with the intention of raising sufficient funds to purchase the building in Trust for the local community.  The purchase was finally achieved early in 2018 with the help of a Grant from East Northamptonshire Council, and the sale was completed that March.
 

Why The Heritage Chapel ?