The church today
Hall Lane Methodist Church is a relatively modern building which benefits from good access to anyone who is infirm, with a ramp at the front entrance to aid wheelchair users. The only steps inside the church building lead onto the stage and one step into the sanctuary.
There are fully equipped toilet facilities for wheelchair users, a baby changing area and a defibrillator installed. Our large kitchen has been refurbished and has modern facilities including a dishwasher. We can cater for up to 45 people when serving hot meals. The stage is the same width as the church and approx 4 meters deep. The velvet curtains and spotlights make any performance a special occasion. There is a sizeable screen available for use with our digital projector or for showing slide shows in our main hall and another fixed screen in our small community room.
We have a large car park adjacent to the church building with a dropped kerb to aid wheelchair users. There is also a large grass area which is used for summer fairs and outdoor services.
History of Hall Lane
Hall Lane Methodist Church was built in 1967 to serve new housing that was being built in the area. The building has changed over the years and has been extended and improved to meet the needs of our growing congregation and the work that we feel called to carry out in the name of Jesus.
The original porch was where the disabled toilet is now (the foundation stone can still be seen in there). The present porch was built on the front corner of the building, where it remains, and the old porch was then used as a vestry before the disabled toilet was installed.
The Community Room (formally named after 'Louie' - Louisa Richardson, a founder member of the church) was then added which has been a great boon and is used constantly.
The church originally had a flat roof which had always caused problems with rain penetration into the building. We spent endless money rebuilding the parapet and patching the felt flashings, and eventually bit the bullet and decided to replace the flat roof with a pitched roof. This has been a great success and altered the appearance of the church completely.
To provide facilities for visitors with access needs, the vestry was converted to a toilet, a ramp was built to the main entrance and an induction loop and microphones installed in the church itself and the Community Room.
During 2011 our ladies, gents and disabled toilets were refurbished bringing them up to date and up to a high standard.
In 2020 we started our journey to becoming carbon neutral by replacing all our lighting throughout the building to LED.
In 2021 we invested in resurfacing our car park including improving our drainage.
1967 The Church was opened by Mr Albert Bailey Vice President of Conference
1966 Rev Trevor Lockwood
1970 Rev David Clark
1975 Rev Christopher Edwards
1982 Rev William Wathes
1991 Rev Peter Phillips
1995 Rev William Tointon
1996 Rev John Adams
2003 Rev Drummond Gillespie
2006 Deacon Barbara Crockett
2010 Rev Lynda Coates
2013 Rev Colin Jackson
2016 Rev Janet Tanner
2021 Rev Phil Snelson
Mission Statement -UNDER REVIEW
Hall Lane Methodist Church
‘Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever’
'We believe we are called to share our knowledge and faith in Jesus with others so that our families, friends, neighbours and those we meet in everyday life may be encouraged to follow Jesus for themselves.’
Plan outlines the opportunities and
goals for 2022/23. During this time we aim
to achieve the following:
• to strengthen our faith in God
• to grow a stronger Hall Lane fellowship
• to engage with more people in our local community and family and friends
• to grow our church groups in number
As a Methodist community, worship is at the heart of what we do.
Hall Lane offers Sunday worship every week of the year. We enjoy worship led by ministers and local preachers, as the circuit plan allows, and we have a minimum of one LA (local arrangement) each month. If there are five Sundays in the month we have two LAs.
LAs at Hall Lane can either be a service led by the Hall Lane worship team, which are often based on the Vine Worship resources (licence purchased by the circuit), or a prayer meeting which is led by a member of the congregation.
Our worship life is enhanced by the modern audio visual equipment and Wi-Fi which is installed throughout the church building. As there are no musicians at Hall Lane we rely heavily on pre-recorded video worship songs and hymns which enhances the worship life of the church (a digital hymnal is also available).
Our quarterly church plan is put together as soon as the circuit plan is published. The stewards ensure that preachers have everything they need for their services at Hall Lane. Tasks which further help Sunday worship to run smoothly are carried out by our congregation, these include: readings, refreshments, AV, flowers etc.
AIM: To facilitate a variety of worship styles to create an environment which meets the needs of our congregation and to help bring them closer to God and to encourage the congregation to take part in the workings of the church.
ACTION: Encourage an additional two more people to add their names to a bank of volunteers which make Sunday worship run smoothly.
2. EVANGELISM & OUTREACH
Hall Lane organises a number of events throughout the year. These include social events and outings,
fundraising events and faith events. Some
are for the church fellowship and others are aimed at our local community. The proceeds from our events may be given to
charity to or they may be for general church funds or for a specific project at
AIM: to spend
time together as a church fellowship and to encourage people from the different
groups who use our building each week, and our local community, to join with us
at events during the year.
ACTION: organise a minimum of 4 events/occasions each year to fulfil each of the overall aims of our mission plan.
It is the vision of the Hall Lane congregation that we create an outdoor space at the front of our premises to be used for contemplation by our church fellowship and the local community. Plans have been drawn up with a paved area, artwork, benches and flowerbeds.
AIM: to create
a safe space for all to sit and remember loved ones
ACTION: commission the groundworks for a memorial garden which is accessible to all; with benches, plants and a place to add names of loved ones to an art installation.
Theme for the year
Since our 50th anniversary year in 2017, Hall Lane has had a theme for the year which is aimed at bringing our communications together under a single umbrella. The theme is changed in January each year and a banner is printed and placed on the front of the church, a poster with our mission statement is produced with themed branding, business cards are printed which are attached to our flowers which are given out after church and are available to be attached to any other gifts, cards notes which are given out during the year. Our notices and website, newsletter etc all embrace the theme in some way.
AIM: to have a new theme for 2023.
ACTION: agree a new theme at church council in October 2022 and have new banner, display board and cards printed ready for January 2023.
ACTION: ensure all members of the congregation are aware that the cards are available for use when sending a note or gift in the name of Hall Lane. This can be achieved through our church newsletter ‘Hello Hall Lane’.
Weekly notices are produced which include what is happening on the church premises each week, inspirational news items and details of events taking place at Hall Lane and in the circuit. The notices are emailed to anyone who has asked for them electronically. Printed copies are available on Sunday mornings and are handed out as people arrive for worship.
AIM: to communicate to our congregation on a weekly basis.
ACTION: continue producing the weekly notices both electronically and on paper.
A bi-monthly newsletter is produced and is available on paper and electronically, it is called ‘Hello Hall Lane’. The newsletter includes church news, circuit news, photographs, quizzes, articles and useful dates. Paper copies are available to all user groups of the church. It is sent electronically to people who are away on holiday, can’t attend regularly or are interested friends of the church. It is also added to the Hall Lane website.
AIM: to communicate to our congregation and beyond on a bi-monthly basis.
ACTION: produce 6 issues of ‘Hello Hall Lane’ each year
The church website has existed since 2013. It includes information about the church which is useful to visitors and members alike.
AIM: to communicate with our wider community with information about Hall Lane.
ACTION: keep the website up to date and give it an annual refresh.
The church has a permanent notice board on the church premises close to the road with details about worship times, contact details for our minister and our website address. There are two external notice boards attached to the church building on either side of the main doors. They can have posters and notices placed on them and are easily accessed to keep up to date.
to attract the attention of passers-by in our community and let
them know what happens at Hall Lane.
ACTION: change the ‘wayside pulpit’ type posters at least 4 times a year.
ACTION: produce a poster for each church group and publicise their activities on the notice boards
The church has three publicity leaflets to hand out to visitors to Hall Lane. One is a generic welcome to Hall Lane and has good imagery and text about worship and the different groups which meet at Hall Lane, the second advertises our Ladies group, again with good imagery and describes what happens each session and a third is for Messy Church. It uses the Messy Church logo and encourages families to join the group. These three leaflets are for areas of the church life where services/sessions are open to all and don’t have issues with maximum numbers. For example, the lunch club works at maximum capacity and has a waiting list and the toddler group is very busy each week, if there are spaces they are usually filled by word of mouth.
AIM: to promote the church and its activities using print
ACTION: update these leaflets during the first quarter of the Methodist year and put them on display in the porch.
ACTION: display the leaflets at each of our church events.
There are two church notice boards in the porch. One is an ‘inspirational’ board for specifically promoting church activities and the other is a board where operational, legal and practical notices are presented.
AIM: to present all information to users of the church, whether it is for operational purposes or promotional, in an attractive manner and to keep posters/signs up to date.
ACTION: ensure that only inspirational posters about Hall Lane are placed on the internal notice board and keep them up to date; and keep the operational notice board tidy and up to date.
The church has a Facebook account which is used to post news and photographs of what is happening at Hall Lane as well as information about forthcoming events. The majority of posts are ‘shared’ with the circuit and district Facebook pages where appropriate. Events such as the summer fair and coffee mornings are ‘boosted’ to reach a wider community audience than our group of followers.
A Hall Lane Toddlers Facebook page is managed by the group with links to the church Facebook page. Children’s activities are posted regularly.
A Hall Lane Messy Church Facebook page advertises each month’s session and posts children’s activities each month.
AIM: to communicate with our local community, members and friends of the church in an effective and efficient manner using social media.
ACTION: post an inspirational message at least once per month on Hall Lane Church Facebook page and to post 2 photographs from church groups each month; boost each community event at least once to the wider community.
The ladies group has been running since the beginning of the church and some founder members still attend. The group meets once every month and includes a ‘thought for the day’, some music and a prayer. The sessions might have a speaker, be a social evening or an outing. The group includes church members and people from our local community.
Every Friday, during term time, a group of babies, toddlers and their carers meet for the children to play and the carers to chat and offer support to each other. A member of church fellowship helps with the group by making refreshments.
Families join together once each month on a Sunday afternoon for church-based activities and tea. Our minister and supernumerary minister take a lead in this activity.
to increase the number of people using the groups
ACTION: consider new means of promoting group to our local community.
3. LEARNING & CARING
We look to encourage engagement within our church community and to involve more of our congregation in the running of Hall Lane. Training and encouragement is offered to people to help improve skills and confidence for various roles and activities of the church. This can be for tasks such as how to use the AV equipment or encouraging someone to add their name to a Sunday rota for a role they’ve never done before.
Hall Lane has participated in Bible Month for a number of years using resources supplied from the Methodist Church. The 4/5 weekly bible studies have been led by either our minister, supernumerary minister or local preachers at Hall Lane.
AIM: to run
more bible study groups, perhaps for Lent and Advent as well as bible month and
to encourage more people to attend these annual bible studies.
ACTION: organise a series of bible study sessions during 2023 and encourage more participation from the church family and beyond.
The church congregation is encouraged to purchase a Methodist Church annual prayer handbook and support is offered to new users to make the most of this resource.
Hall Lane has operated a pastoral visitor system since its beginnings and all members of the Methodist Church have a pastoral visitor who keeps in touch with each person in their care. In more recent years all worshippers have been allocated to one of our pastoral visitors who keep in touch by phone, visits, emails or a card put through the letterbox. Everyone knows there is someone they can turn to as a point of contact, for support and friendship. This valuable work is carried out by four leaders who regularly meet with the minister to keep watch over any situations that may need attention or a minister’s visit.
AIM: to keep pastoral care over the church fellowship at Hall Lane
ACTION: hold a pastoral committee meeting at least 3 times during the church year 2022/23.
ACTION: to increase the number of pastoral visitors by one person
Our monthly lunch club serves the local community and offers a two course meal and a drink to people who are in need of some company. The meal is charged at cost price plus a small amount to help pay for sundries in the kitchen. An average of 24 people attend each time which is the maximum the room can hold and still remain accessible. Every session begins with a prayer. The meal and is prepared onsite by a team of volunteers. Our minister regularly attends and chats with each person which is a valuable means of communication in our locality.
AIM: to offer a time of fellowship with older
members of our community and to engage with each visitor.
ACTION: to organise 10 lunch club sessions each year.
The church supports the local Foodbank and makes a space available for a box to collect items for the Coalville Foodbank which is run by the Trussell Trust. Several members of the congregation work as volunteers for the organisation and help to collect food, sort it and distribute it to clients.
Many of the church events are held to raise funds for charity. When there is a national or world disaster we put out a collection bucket on a Sunday morning to collect donations. The church ladies group chooses a different charity each year and raises money through events and social gatherings.
The church building is used throughout the week by local community groups which include a pre-school group which meets every week-day morning during term time. Families and children from the group are invited to attend church events during the year; and church members help out occasionally at the pre-school, for example by helping with refreshments when parents are invited to the Christmas nativity.
A number of small U3A groups use the building on a monthly basis.
A sewing group called the Jubilee Patchers meet regularly at the church and regularly offers a handmade quilt as a raffle prize to help raise funds for the annual ladies charity.
The charity Hospice Hope meets every week in the church buildings to offer their drop-in café support group. Several church members help out at the group each week and several more attend.
Two weekly meetings of Slimming World take place at the church but there is little connection with this group. Leaders change regularly and it is difficult to create a relationship with them.
Our lettings secretary is a link between the church and each of these groups and offers a friendly contact with them.
The church supports FairTrade products and is a member of Eco Church, currently with a bronze award awarded to us based on the environmental changes we’ve implemented in the way we work. We are working towards a silver award but this may take a few years to achieve.
We are committed to the National Forest East circuit and encourage attendance at circuit meetings and services.
As a church we share our faith in welcome, worship, friendship and care, through working and fellowship together in a variety of church-organised and community-organised groups and activities, to offer conversation, support and prayer.
We aim to encourage everyone to follow Jesus, basing their life on him and learning from him, using their God-given gifts to help and serve, as the Spirit makes us more like him.
Reviewed at each steward’s meeting and currently being reviewed following Oct 2023 meeting.
Hall Lane Stewards
Our ECO Group Journey
Our Hall Lane EcoGroup aims to offer a facilitating role to the whole church and to individuals as we all seek to express Christian discipleship through social responsibility.
The ongoing aim is to be good stewards of what God has provided and to play our part in saving the planet for future generations.
We are guided especially by guiding principles set out by the Methodist Church (including net zero emissions by 2030) and “A Rocha” (a Christian charity) to whom we are affiliated.
Hall Lane Methodist Church is situated on the outskirts of the village of Whitwick on the edge of the town of Coalville.
The two main market towns in the local area are Ashby de la Zouch and Coalville which both lie at the heart of the flourishing National Forest, an area that embraces ancient buildings, interesting visitor attractions and miles of hidden nature trails. There are also precious reminders of the industrial revolution, lovingly preserved and proudly displayed. The emerging National Forest is changing the face of this part of the county, providing lots of opportunities for walking, cycling and horse riding. At the heart of the forest lies the award-winning family visitor attraction Conkers, at Moira. Rain or shine, there’s lots to do, with indoor and outdoor activities providing fun for all ages.
At Ashby, climb to the top of the tower at Ashby Castle to enjoy the view that inspired Sir Walter Scott’s tournament scene in his famous novel, Ivanhoe. The town also has good shops including many individual shops situated in narrow passageways off Market Street. Nearby at Staunton Harold, the Ferrer’s Centre has craft workshops, offering ceramics, paintings and furniture. Coalville is also a main town in north west Leicestershire.
Also in the local area, just one mile away from Hall Lane Methodist Church is Mount St. Bernard Abbey. It was the first Catholic Abbey to be founded in this country after the reformation (1835).
At Mount St. Bernard Abbey today the monks are involved in running a Trappist brewery, producing their own pottery, and running a shop and guesthouse