A HISTORIC place of worship is to close - but church work will continue in the community.

Corbridge Methodist Church has been part of village life for over 150 years.

But the Easter Sunday service, on April 17, will be the last.

The congregation will continue to meet in various places in the village.

After serving generations of Methodists, the Princes Street building, which dates back to 1865, is too big for the small but faithful congregation.

Possible options for the future of the building are now being considered. 

Rev Marie Beard, the Methodist Minister for Corbridge and Riding Mill, said the chapel holds special memories for many people.

She said: “I have been associated with Corbridge Methodist Church since 1998 when I first arrived in the village as a new Minister and since then have celebrated all sorts of important life events in the building, including my own wedding and the baptism of our daughter.

“Princes Street Methodist Church holds a very special place in my heart as well as that of the congregation, and of many of the residents of Corbridge. But it’s time for change."

On Saturday, March 26 at 10.45am, there will be a memorial service to remember the ‘saints’ of Corbridge Methodist Church.

Rev Beard added: "We will be returning to our roots, committing ourselves to worship and fellowship and serving our local community.

"We’re hoping to meet mid-week for fellowship, coffee and a chat, and probably some prayers and singing too. Look out for us around the village because we are still going to be here.”

The church is being supported in the transition by Rev David Kennedy, his clergy team and St Andrew’s Church, as well as neighbouring Methodist communities.

The building was opened on April 6, 1865, having been built at a cost of £1,600.

In its long and colourful history, it has been used as a base for soldiers billeted in the village during the First and Second World Wars, as well as a regular meeting place for groups.

The congregation grew in 1938 when the United Methodist Church building on Hill Street, now home to the library and Corbridge Youth Initiative, was sold.

The church was extended in 1981 when the Market Place Chapel was sold and proceeds from the sale were ploughed into the Princes Street building.

By 1997, a major refurbishment was carried out, with work to renew the roof, heating system, pews and redecorate the interior paid for by a series of fund-raising events.

More recently, the church has been home to Messy Church sessions for youngsters, a knit and natter group and a donation point for the West Northumberland Food Bank.