Address & Contact
peter Lee Memorial Methodist Church
Minister Name: Rev Susan Richardson
Opened in 1958 the church occupies a site in Peterlee Town Centre.
10.00am Sunday Morning Service. Weekly This is a traditional Church service
6.00pm Sunday Evening Services is an informal cafe Church service
10am – 12noon Monday to Wednesday The Church is open for prayer.
8am Holy Communion 2nd Sunday of the month
2pm Baptisms – by arrangement on the 2nd Sunday of the month
10:30am – Bible Study Everyone Welcome
7:30pm Ladies’ Circle (First and Third each month)
A meeting for women which is open to anyone who wishes to come. There is a variety of activities, speakers, crafts, meals, etc.
10:00am – Craft Group.
Come and bring your own craftwork to do. Knitting, sewing, embroidery, card making, etc.
Or just come for coffee and a chat. Learn new skills, make Friends, Have Fun and be social
1.00 pm Toddlers Group
10:00am – 12:00noon Community Cafe
Enjoy pies and peas, Bacon Butties, hot snacks, along with desserts and cakes at very reasonable prices.
A new town called Peterlee was created in 1948 designed to offer a modern alternative to cramped colliery housing, it was named in honour of mining leader and Methodist preacher Peter Lee, as was the church. The plans for Peter Lee Memorial Methodist Church were drawn up before the first house in Peterlee was even started.
Methodism began with the launch of a Sunday School in December 1952, with youngsters visiting the homes of William Whitehouse and Joseph Minhinnett for bible lessons. Services for adults came next, thanks to Peterlee Development Corporation, after the Yoden Road Common Room was opened for weekly worship sessions. the life of the church was growing steadily.
Almost 10 years of hard work and fundraising followed. The building work began in 1957. “There is no doubt that Peter Lee was a giant among men,” said Reverend John Crawford, chairman of the Sunderland and Durham Methodist District, back in 1957. “It is therefore singularly appropriate that one of the shrines of religion in the town which bears his name should be one where the Methodism he loved is established. All the hard work eventually paid off on January 18, 1958, when Peter Lee Memorial Methodist Church was opened.
The early days of Peter Lee Methodist Church saw more than 200 children enrolled in the Sunday School and 137 adults regularly attending services. “The church in 1958 catered for all sorts, there was a Children’s Cinema Club, a Girls’ Life Brigade, a Teenagers’ Tea Club, a Youth Club, Young Mothers’ Club, a Women’s Meeting and the Regnal League.
The social life of the church was clearly active, but so was the spiritual life. Before the Sunday services a Prayer Meeting was held, and the church felt alive.” The first few years of the church were a time of great hope. As the town around the church rapidly expanded, so did the number of worshippers.
membership grew so quickly, the following year, 1960, saw the Queen give her blessing to the church too, when she visited the town during an official tour of the area. Membership had reached well over 300 by the early 1960s, But the later part of the decade found numbers in decline, a situation common to churches across the country at the time.
despite some gloomy times, the future for Peter Lee Methodist Church is today a lot brighter, the church is very much at the centre of community life today.