About Us and Our Mission

London Road Methodist Church invite everyone into their loving arms, in order to embrace the Holy Lord. We run a range of activities to help reach out to the people in our community.

A little History on London Road

“The London Road Estate consists of about 1,000 houses, with a population of 6,000 people……Methodism has a great opportunity presented to her in this area. The situation demands an aggressive policy and a venture of faith. The opportunity is God’s call to the Methodist Church.”

So read the souvenir programme (price tuppence) for the opening ceremony of London Road Methodist Church in the Bedford St. Mary’s Circuit on Thursday, August 20th 1936. I wonder if there is still an average of six people living in each house in our neighbourhood!

The event got under way at 3 p.m. with a hymn introduced by Rev. Smithson, Scripture read by Rev. Shaw, prayer led by Rev. Eastwood of the St. Paul’s Circuit, and a ceremonial opening of the doors by the manager of the building company, who took the opportunity to “thank God that England was still a Christian country.”. The preacher, presumably stepping straight from the pages of “Pilgrim’s Progress”, was Rev. Wiseman.

Sadly the accident book was opened before the hymn books as a Mr. Milton, described as an “elderly local preacher”, tripped over the step (incidentally still in place although this is no longer the main entrance), falling heavily and sustaining an ugly cut to his head. While he was in hospital suffering from shock and having his wound stitched, everyone else had repaired to the Community Hall round the corner for a “Public Tea” at which there was “Tea-table talk”. It was then back for the “evening programme” including addresses by Rev. Kingsley Lloyd (who died at the age of 100 as recently as 2004) and, once more, by Rev. Wiseman. “The Bedford Record”, of which you could have bought two copies for the price of the souvenir programme, carried a full pictorial report.

The foundation stone had been laid on Saturday 16th May that year. We now celebrate our church anniversary on the first Sunday in June, 2013 marking our 77th anniversary. Much to Rachel Larkinson’s amusement, we had two 75th anniversaries during her time as our minister, in 2011 and the first being in 2008. This was because the local London Road Methodist “society” first met over a nearby baker’s shop (2 doors away) in 1933. This means it is “Methodist Church society’s” 80th Birthday.

During the summer of 2011 the garden had been transformed from a jungle to a lovely new turfed area. What a means of witness that has been, with so many passers-by stopping to comment favourably on the change being made. It has even made visible from the main road for the first time for many years a large wall and we have quickly used this for displaying our “Celebrate The Harvest” and “He is Risen” banners. It is a tangible sign that this building, extended for the new church in 1964, is strongly set on its prominent corner site to continue to help us to serve The Lord as we reach out in His name to our community.

This year, we celebrate the community by having numerous groups attend London Road including a NEW baby and toddler group, which has proven to be very popular. We have also had lots of fun events including our Summer Fun Day, which saw over 100 people come through the gates. In this special year in our history London Road may have glanced back but its eyes are firmly fixed on the future.

It is safe to say, Yes, we still have that “great opportunity” the Building Fund Treasurer wrote about all those years ago.

John Caves and Hannah Mason

Our Mission

"Experiencing the love of God is the core belief of the church.

Prayer is the reality which must underlie all our activities.

Mission, reaching out to local people, of all ages and backgrounds, must be part of everything we do"

Mission Statement