Holt church prepares for landmark birthday celebrations

Holt Methodist Church celebrating is 150th anniversary. Senior steward Joselyn Bunting and church tr

Holt Methodist Church celebrating is 150th anniversary. Senior steward Joselyn Bunting and church treasurer Roy Towler.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Worshippers at a Victorian church known for its friendly welcome will be celebrating 150 years of the Methodist religion in a Georgian town.

The Holt Methodist Church on the junction of High Street and Norwich Road was opened on Good Friday April 3, 1863.

Joselyn Bunting, 61, from Holt, who is senior steward of the church said: 'It is very important to have this church in Holt, It is important to have a presence. The church is the people who worship here, not the building, which is a legacy we have got to live with and maintain.

'We are known for being a very friendly church and people who come here for the first time always return. People come from a distance to worship.'

Celebrations to mark the landmark year will take place in the church between Tuesday, April 23 to Sunday, April 28.

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Events include a flower festival between 10am and 4pm daily; an exhibition by Holt Photographic Society; a quiz night on Tuesday, April 23 between 7.30pm and 9.30pm; an informal concert on Saturday, April 27; and a service on Sunday, April 28 at 11am led by the Rev Graham Thompson.

The church was designed by Norfolk architect Thomas Jeckyll who was instructed by William Hardy Cozens-Hardy, of nearby Letheringsett Hall, who died in 1895.

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Between 1982 and 1983 a suspended ceiling was put in and a kitchen and toilets were fitted, which attracted opposition at the time.

The most recent refurbishment was completed in 1988 when the school room at the back of the church was demolished and Loades Hall - named after Holt man Charlie Loades - was built for community groups to use.

Mr Loades set up regular Friday coffee mornings to raise money for the church and completed a lot of the work on the building. He died in the mid-1980s.

The church also has a room called Hilda's Room in memory of former worshipper Hilda Hird who died in 2007. Her family have donated hundreds of pounds to the church since her death.

The Rev Jenny Pathmarajah, 30, is the current probationary minister but will be ordained in London on July 7.

For more information about the quiz night ring Roy Towler on 01263 713833 and for details on all the 150th celebrations ring Tony Hey on 01263 713302.

Mrs Pathmarajah can be contacted by ringing 01263 712181.

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