A century of worship

A CENTURY of witness in Knott End is to be held at the town's Methodist Church which celebrates its 100th birthday this weekend.

It was opened on Saturday, August 5, 1905, as a result of the planning and prayers of Fleetwood Primitive Methodist Circuit who had decided to buy a plot of land in the village across the river to extend their church's influence.

Religious services had begun in summer 1904, with missions held in a house which is now the Spar store.

The new chapel cost 1,000 and soon attracted youngsters who formed a Sunday School.

A schoolroom extension was completed and opened in 1927 and a kitchen and modern toilets were added in 1969.

1974 saw the transformation of the church's entrance area creating a lighter, brighter interior.

Church treasurer Peter Atkinson said: "Over the last 35/40 years Knott End has seen much housing development with its consequent influx of new folk, many of who have linked up with the Methodist Church with the result that what appeared for many years to be a static membership practically doubled in a very short period."

The church has kept its links with the western side of the river rather than linking up to the Garstang circuit, feeling that if it joined with the Garstang circuit it would be "on the fringe."

It is now part of the North Fylde Methodist circuit which includes the Poulton-le-Fylde and Anchorsholme churches.

Since September 2004 its minister has been the Rev Lindsay Pettigrew, who is also minister of the Anchorsholme Church, and the first female minister at the Knott End church.

Mr Atkinson said: "Lindsay is trying to encourage the young back into the church - an uphill struggle when youth has been non-existent in this church for a number of year."

He added: "Let us hope and pray that this church will still be here in another 100 years."

The church has recently appointed Janet Walsh as its youth worker, a new toddler group is well attended and a "Dream Scheme" youth group has helped make contact with non-church young people and their parents.

A shoppers' service is planned later this year and a mid-week pram service is planned next year.

On Saturday, August 6, there will be an organ and piano recital by Mr Nigel Ogden, at 7.30pm.

On Sunday, August 7, there will be morning and afternoon services. At the afternoon service, at 3.30pm, the speaker will be Rev Stephen Poxon, chairman of North Lancashire Methodist District.