Lyminge Methodist Church
Contact: Rev. Kevin Taylor – Tel: 01303 261500
The following is taken from an LMC leaflet available in the Church at the Flower Festival in June 11. It began with a photo of the original Church:
Lyminge Methodist Church, above, was built in 1894 and was destroyed by a Flying Bomb on 31st August 1944 at 5.45am. All the houses in Church Road were damaged, including the Manse. Unfortunately, the petrol still in the bomb caused the entire building to catch fire and the dense smoke will never be forgotten. However, within 17 minutes four local fire engines were hard at work and by 7am the fire was under control, but only the walls still stood and the scene was utter devastation.
The Rev. Harry Charleston, Minister of the Church, was due to leave Lyminge that day to take up a new appointment in Bedford. Fortunately he did not sleep that night at the Manse!!
It was recorded with gratitude to God, that there were no serious casualties in Church Road. At 2pm that day the new Minister, Rev. And Mrs M A Clarke arrived to begin their ministry in Lyminge. They had with them only a suitcase and a little dog. They looked more like refugees than a new Minister and his wife!!!!
The Rev. Albert Lloyd immediately offered his own home in Elham to Mr and Mrs Clarke. They stayed with him very gratefully until “Wellfield” was secured some three weeks later. Temporary accommodation for the Church was found at the Council Chambers at Eastbrook (now Everist Court next to the Surgery in Station Road) by Mr Harrison of Elham District Council – a good room which lent itself very well to use as a church. Hymn books and a Harmonium were borrowed, a bible and a fire-scarred reading desk saved from the Sunday School room.
“A sum of £5,000 needs to be found to rebuild the Church”. The War Damage Commission will allow some compensation and we were justified in looking for a Connexional Fund grant as well. Mr H V Godfrey has undertaken to draw the plans and the people of Lyminge have pledges themselves to every possible effort.
On Tuesday 23rd June 1953, our present building was finished and we now celebrate our Golden Anniversary on the June weekend 21st and 22nd June 03 by a Garden Safari around Lyminge in memory of Doug Firminger and culminating in our lovely church decorated with flowers and memorabilia of 1953.
We remember with affection this time fifty years ago the Coronation of the Queen Elizabeth II and the reaching of the summit of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norkay.
NB We understand that the two pictures (wooden framed) at present (June 03) each side of the entrance door, were also rescued from the original Church.