St John’s – a History
St John’s began as an idea in the late 1960’s due to the deterioration of the premises of the three other Methodist churches in Horwich. These were Victoria, situated at the corner of Victoria Road and Church Street; Fall Birch, situated at the corner of Chorley New Road and Crompton Road, and Brunswick, situated where the Wesley Room and the grassy area before it is on Victoria Road.
After much discussion it was agreed that the congregations unite and new premises be built to accommodate them. It was decided very early on to name the new venture St John’s after the Apostle as there were at that time two other churches in the Circuit named St Peter’s and St Andrew’s.
Early in the 1970’s the three congregations moved into the old Brunswick premises. They were next to the chosen site for the new building. It was an act of faith, for Brunswick was the most in need of repair. On the last Sunday, as the congregation were gathering for worship, rain poured in through the roof! The following Saturday afternoon, 22nd June 1974, after the removal of furniture, much cleaning and hard work, St John’s was dedicated and opened by Paul Bartlett Lang of the Joseph Rank Trust.
Hours of work had gone into planning the church building, which was built at a cost of around £44,000. A joyful packed congregation consisting of people from all over the Bolton Methodist Circuit witnessed the proceedings. At the time the premises consisted of the large flexible worship area, the hall with its stage plus ancillary rooms.
Some years later, the Wesley Room was added to supply extra space, for what has become a busy thriving church.