The first church in which people met was a Chapel called Lyndon End, in Barrows Lane. The Barber family preached at Lyndon End. Mr Frank Ball was the organist. When it became clear that larger premises were required, it was decided to purchase land on the corner of Melton Avenue & Lyndon Road, where a church would be built at a cost of £1,500. On 16th September 1939 the new church hall was opened by Mr J R Woodward, & it became known as Sheldon Methodist Church. With all other Churches of the district represented, the Dedication Service was conducted by Revd E Benson Perkins. The hall seemed more than adequate as the membership at the time was only 25, although Sunday School attendance the next day was 80.
In 1940 it was decided to hold the Sunday School Anniversary Service at Chapelfields School, due to the large number of children attending, and by 1949 the membership had reached 100 with 357 children in the Sunday School. Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Guild & Youth Club were all flourishing, as was the Women’s Meeting. As a temporary measure, a wooden hut was purchased costing £50, to relieve pressure on the church hall. The hut was transported to the site by a group of Trustees & it was officially opened in the Spring of 1948. Just 10 years after it was opened a new building fund was started.
By 1953 membership had grown to 143 and continued to grow with over 400 children and 50 teachers attending Sunday School, which met at Lyndon High School. Sunday School Anniversaries took place every year until 1981. The Boys’ Brigade also carried out many of its activities at Lyndon School.
In 1954 the name changed to Lyndon Methodist Church. In the same year plans for a new church were being prepared and an appeal was launched to raise funds. In 1957 the building scheme had been approved and enough money had been raised to start work. Revd Graham West was introduced in September 1957. Revd West’s arrival marked a new beginning for Lyndon, and it now assumed the status of a major church with much enthusiasm.
The stone laying ceremony was held on Saturday 17th May 1958, by Revd Russell Shearer, assisted by other Methodist ministers. Local ministers of other denominations were also in attendance.
The following year, on 25th April 1959 our new church, built at a cost of £20,000, was opened by Mrs J V Dibben, the wife of the
Superintendent Minister. The service was conducted by Chair of the District, Revd W Russell Shearer, assisted by Revds J V Dibben & Graham West. Revd W Oliver Phillipson preached. The guests included Revds J Bernard Sheldon & Arnold B Jones. So many people attended that it had to be relayed into the now “old” church hall.
In 1959 activities in the hall were as follows:
SUNDAY 10.00AM BOYS BRIGADE BIBLE CLASS
11.00AM DIVINE WORSHIP
6.30PM DIVINE WORSHIP
SUNDAY 2.30PM BEGINNERS, PRIMARY, JUNIOR,
SCHOOL 3.30PM SENIORS, YOUNG PEOPLE
MON 6.30PM LIFE BOYS
TUES 2.30PM WOMEN’S MEETING
7.45PM SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS
WED 7.45PM CHOIR PRACTICE
THURS 6.30PM GIRLS LIFE BRIGADE
7.45PM BOYS BRIGADE PARADE
8.00PM CHURCH FELLOWSHIP
FRI 7.30PM YOUTH CLUB
In 1965 Revd Wilf Tyrer was the Minister. He together with ministers from Dorridge, Brays Road and Gospel Lane started a Campaign for Christian Stewardship. After a few years, it was again decided that more room was needed for the many activities that took place at Lyndon. A new Church Centre, for use by all the local community, including Lyndon’s own
established organisations and groups was planned. After more fundraising, including the Sale of Bricks for £2 each, the vision was realised. The old church was demolished in September and October 1971.
The stone laying ceremony for the new Centre, performed by Revd T Leslie Thexton, Superintendent of the Circuit, was on 11th December 1971. The Minister at the time, Revd Stanley K Chesworth announced that £2,117 had been raised by the local churchgoers within one year. The total cost was to be £36,000 for a new Church Centre, attached to the church. Large grants from the local authority and the Elmdon Methodist Circuit fund made it possible to start work. The new Church Centre was opened on 23rd September 1972 by Mrs Monica Chesworth, wife of the Minister. The Centre now included, an office, kitchen, coffee lounge, activities hall, toilets, quiet room and a reception area, which was staffed whenever the Centre was open. A Playgroup was also started at this time. The Cross behind the Reception Desk, is made from bricks from the wall of the original chapel built on the site in 1939.
The Church and its associated activities grew in strength and numbers. At this time many groups including Ladies Club, Young Wives, Silver Threads, Youth Fellowship, Womens’ Fellowship, Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Brigade, Playgroup, Fircone Group, and Barn Dance Club all used the Centre extensively.
During Revd Peter Purnell’s time at Lyndon, a New Organ Fund was launched in November 1974, which needed to raise £2,700 towards the cost. On 11th September 1976 a new Organ was dedicated by the Superintendent Minister Revd Cyril Cornah, and Lyndon’s minister Revd Peter D Smith.
Lyndon continues to raise funds for projects to improve the Church and Centre for the whole community. In the last few years additions and improvements include lighting and wiring, new Front Doors & Canopy, Kitchen, Toilets, a toilet for those with disabilities and a new projection system for worship. We also support Lyndon House (helping children with disabilities), Lyndon Croft (helping people with Dementia), Africa Equip (various projects in Africa), and other charitable work.
In 2005 Revd Helen Cameron, our Minister at the time, together with others, had the idea to set up a Church Website. www.lyndonmethodist.org was launched on 11th April 2006 and has proved to be a useful tool for promoting Lyndon, as well as providing information to people worldwide.
Lyndon has celebrated many events over the years, including, on 24th May 1988, the 250th Anniversary of John Wesley’s Conversion.
On 25th April 2009, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary of the current Church building, and 70 years worshipping on this site.
Rev. David Alford
Our current Minister
1944 Revd E Redvers Jones
1947 Revd Bernard Sheldon
1953 Revd Arnold B Jones
1957 Revd Graham West
1964 Revd Wilfred Tyrer
1969 Revd Stanley K Chesworth
1974 Revd Peter Purnell
1975 Revd Peter D Smith
1982 Revd John Morgan
1987 Revd Robert Powell
1992 Revd Philip Fanning
1998 Revd Demetris Palos
2004 Revd Helen Cameron
2007 Revd Julia Monaghan
2012 Revd David Alford