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history of Chelsea methodist church

Methodists first started meeting in Chelsea in a local woman's house in John Wesley's time. He preached several times to them. As numbers grew they rented a room, then a suite of rooms in the Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens (now part of the Royal Hospital grounds). Shortly after, they leased and converted an old slaughter house in the present Sloane Street area. 

In the early nineteenth century, their first purpose-built chapel was in Sloane Square (now the Royal Court Theatre), their second one in Sloane Terrace – where the Christian Science church now stands. This second chapel was used by Chelsea Methodists from 1812 to 1903.

The redevelopment saw 21 new flats for the elderly built with the Servite Housing Association on the previous car park area, and also new sanctuaries designed by Bernard Lamb, including a Narthex (Welcoming area) in front of the church's main sanctuary. Chelsea Methodist Church has office space on its top floors which are rented to various charities. Current tenants are ; Glass Door (fomerly known as West London Churches Homeless Concern); Kensington and Chelsea Forum for Older Residents;Word International church and The Salvo Foundation. 

The large hall upstairs, otherwise known as the Hume Hall, after Cardinal Hume who re-opened our premises in May 1984, is well used by community groups, play sessions for parents and toddlers, Taekwondo classes. It is also used on one off basis for AGMs, charity sales and 'road shows', parties, sports clubs and performing arts . If you are interested in hiring this hall or other smaller rooms, please get in touch. The Narthex is open all week, operating with an ‘open door’ policy  and welcomes the homeless and everyone else in need of company. 

Today, Chelsea Methodist Church is the only church with a door on King's Road. In usual times (non-pandemic) It welcomes many visitors every Sunday and is fully wheelchair accessible on the ground floor with a lift to the first floor kitchen and main hall. We have a well established community drop-in for the homeless and people in need, open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays (women only) and Thursdays, providing morning teas, coffees and snacks, laundry and shower facilities, clothing and essential items, pastoral and practical support, secure postal service, GP surgery, free telephone and cooked lunchtime meals. Our refurbished Narthex /cafe area and courtyard are equally welcoming and safe spaces for our guests to find rest, meet friends and receive support.


Each year since winter 1998/99, Chelsea Methodist Church has taken part in the emergency winter night shelter, run by Glass Door, which operates from November to March.  This project provides homeless people with a hot dinner, a warm and secure place to sleep and a cooked breakfast in the morning.

Since March 2020, we have adapted our services in response to Covid-19.


On this site services were first held in a small building called Salem Chapel about 1811. Services were then held in an iron chapel, opened in November 1881 that remained in use until 1892. The foundation stone for a new church, designed by architect Fred Boreham, was laid on 1st October 1891 and the church opened on the 7th April 1892. This church closed in 1965 and the congregation merged with the Walham Grove Methodist Church until a new church was opened in 1971 and was renamed the Fulham Broadway Methodist Church. Due to the re-development of the Fulham Broadway area in 2001 the present Church was built on the existing site and opened in 2003.



In 1903, Chelsea Methodists built on the present site on the corner of King's Road and Chelsea Manor Street. In 1941, a bomb destroyed the sanctuary, and after the war, the rooms that were left underwent various changes. The bombsite itself was long used as a car park, before the whole site was redeveloped in 1983.

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