THIS PAGE WAS PRINTED FROM THE TOUCH 2000 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN TONBRIDGE WEBSITE
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The Methodists were the second of the non-conforming bodies in the town, the Independents at the Congregational Church being the first in 1751. The original Methodist church building was erected in Swan Lane (now East Street) in 1829 and seated 315 people. The last service to be held in this chapel was on Sunday 7th April 1872. In that year the church was reconstructed in East Street (see right) at a cost of £2,000 and opened on the 20th November. This was the sixth place of worship that Methodists had in Tonbridge.
Prior to 1889, Tonbridge Methodists were part of the Sevenoaks circuit, but in that year, it became head of its own circuit with the churches in East Peckham, Brenchley, Paddock Wood, Laddington and Hadlow.
The foot-scraper (above left), which can be found outside the old church in East Street, is a relic of the days when the High Street was unmetalled and in wet weather was often extremely muddy.
Golden Green Chapel, which had been built in 1889, was sold in 1958. The proceeds from this were put towards the new church in Higham Lane. The foundation stone laying ceremony for the new church at its present site in Higham Lane took place on Saturday 22nd May 1965. Mrs E. M. Friend, a former member of East Street Church and a former Chairperson of the council, laid the stone. The opening ceremony took place on Saturday 27th November 1965 and was conducted by Rev. F. R. Ducker, Chairman of the London South East District of the Methodist Church. Mrs. A. F. Mitchell formally opened the church which had been built by local builders.
A new church was built alongside the old Higham Lane Church (above). The official opening of the church was on 3rd April 1993. The services transferred there from the East Street building, which is no longer owned by the Methodist Church and is used as a fitness centre. The final service at the East Street church was on the 1st July 1990.
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