Today Methodism in Kingsley is in its fourth Century — we have concrete evidence of Methodist activity here in the late 1780s; and a first legal document relating to a Wesleyan chapel in Kingsley is dated 1791. It is very likely that religious meetings were taking place by the late 1770s and early 1780s, in the farmhouses and cottages of Kingsley and Newton. There was certainly a Methodist community in Kingsley by 1785.
Today's chapel, built in 1871, is the third on this same site. In the past few years it has been sympathetically modernised to meet today's worship and social needs. The premises are very well used, both by the Church and the Kingsley community.
We have no full-time minister appointed at present, but two supernumerary (retired) ministers have pastoral oversight for 2016-17. Rev'd Ian Rigby will be remembered by many people in Kingsley. He was our minister from 1994 to 2004. He lives in Runcorn. He will be taking services at both Blakelees and the Hurst, and will undertake pastoral visiting. Rev'd Anne Gibson lives in Tarporley. She will take a special interest in work with children and young families.
We seek to be a caring Church and this is reflected in our Mission Statement:
We worship every Sunday at 10.00 am, with Junior Church for children; All Age worship takes place monthly. Evening worship is shared with friends at the Blakelees chapel. Other special worship services are arranged depending on the season. Refreshments are offered after the morning services, a time to catch up with news, chat and relax.
There is an early Communion service on the second Sunday of each month at 8.15 am. By request, the Sacrament can be administered at home for the housebound and others.
Work with Children and young families continues apace. For the very youngest there is a popular free weekly Crèche giving parents a brief respite from child care. Youth Worker Beth Ferrigno holds "Barney's Buddies" weekly, in a friendly atmosphere, for babies, pre-schoolers and their carers, with toys & craft activities for children, drinks & snacks. It ends with a simple Christian story, action songs and a short prayer.
"Messy Church" takes place after school on the first Thursday in the month. This lively event, with crafts, food and chat, was introduced as a development from an earlier event called 'Puppet Praise'. It is rounded off with a short song and worship time, full of interaction and fun. The annual Christingle celebration is a joyful occasion.
We assist with assemblies at St John's School. We also support with prayer the work with older children at Helsby High School and Kingsley Community School. We have been invited to take Assembly at the latter School; and further involvement is envisaged, e.g. after-school activities, a Holiday Club for the children — and pastoral support for parents.
Outreach is very much our theme. The recently created Community Peace Garden, adjacent to the chapel, is an example of our bond with the local community; and our annual Outreach project, active since 1985, raises awareness and money, usually for 'Cinderella' charities out of the media spotlight. £68 000 raised to date.
Our Prayer Meeting is a daytime event at 9.15 am on Friday mornings. Our ecumenical Bible Study happens on Monday evenings. A relatively new venture is 'Footsteps into Faith', held fortnightly, for those who want to explore in confidence their belief and doubts. All these are held in members' homes.
Pastoral care is an essential part of our Community outreach. We have a team of pastoral carers keeping in touch with members, adherents and other villagers. They also deliver our quarterly Hurst Magazine.
An event for mainly the older generation is "Tea at 2:30", a social gathering with tea, cake, bingo and chat, with an occasional lunch out. We also hold a monthly Soup Lunch for all ages, when the modest cost goes towards supporting various charities chosen by our catering team — the Hurst "Souperstars".
The Guild is a well-attended, lively monthly event from Autumn to Spring, with a range of speakers on subjects of general interest. The Women's Fellowship is enjoyed monthly by the ladies of the Church, with interesting speakers.
Please join us at any convenient time — you will be most welcome.