Journey with us through the key moments that make up the history of Methodist Central Hall Westminster.
The Royal Aquarium opened by the Duke of Edinburgh
The Royal Aquarium stood on the very site of Methodist Central Hall Westminster before the Methodist Church purchased it in 1903 for the price of £4 per square foot of land. The Aquarium and the Imperial Theatre together occupied about 3 acres, a site that stretched as far back as St James’ Park tube station. Designed by Alfred Bedborough, the Royal Aquarium was highly ornamental and faced with Portland stone, being very much like that of the ‘Crystal Palace’ erected in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and subsequently moved to south London.
The Aquarium was opened in 1876 and had some fish but it also staged exhibits such as ‘The World’s Strongest Woman’, ‘Boxing Kangaroos’, human cannonballs, the ‘Leopard Boy.’ Its best known artist was the music hall star ‘Champagne Charlie’ - George Leybourne.
However by 1900 it had ceased to be a viable business, to the joy of many people who thought it was unsuitable for the serious location that it occupied, next to Westminster Abbey and government buildings. The Aquarium’s poor reputation earned it the nickname ‘the Devil’s acre.’ So the purchase of the premises by the Wesleyan Methodist Church was therefore amicable.
The first meeting of the Twentieth Century Fund
Methodist Central Hall Westminster has its origins in the Wesleyan Methodist Twentieth Century Fund, established at the end of the 19th Century to commemorate the centenary of the death of John Wesley.
Wesley (1703-1791) was a Church of England priest who founded Methodism at Oxford in 1729 as an evangelical movement within the Church of England. Most of his ministry was spent travelling the length and breadth of the British Isles, preaching in the open air to working class people ,mainly in the industrial centres of the Midlands, Yorkshire, North East England, Bristol, the South West and London. After his death in 1791, his followers broke away from the Church of England and formed the Wesleyan Methodist Church.
In 1891 members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of Wesley’s death in a spectacular way. Sir Robert Perks, the Liberal MP, a leading Wesleyan layman suggested trying to raise 1 million guineas from 1 million Wesleyan Methodists (even though the membership at this time was approximately 420,000). He proposed using it to finance a huge programme of evangelical work and social action as well as building a headquarters in the heart of London to be the world centre for Wesleyan Methodism.
Celebratory Service held in the Royal Aquarium
After the purchased of the site the Methodist Church held a ‘meeting’ in the Aquarium prior to its demolition. The funds raised from the Twentieth Century or ‘Million Guinea Fund’ were allocated as follows:
£300,000 for the erection and enlargement of chapels, Sunday schools, manses and soldiers’ and sailors’ homes.
£200,000 for educational work including training colleges, schools and university scholarships.
£100,000 for foreign missions.
£100,000 for home missions and temperance work.
£50,000 for children’s homes
£250,000 for a public hall and central offices for the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Central London.
Once the site of the Royal Aquarium had been purchased, attention could then turn to building. The design for Methodist Central Hall Westminster was chosen from an anonymous architects’ competition, held in 1904-5, by a panel of judges led by Sir Aston Webb. Methodist Central Hall Westminster is now protected as a grade 2* listed building. The design specified that it should not be Gothic, (i.e. not like Westminster Abbey or the Palace of Westminster). A total of 132 anonymous designs were entered. From these, nine were chosen to be submitted in more detail for a 100-guinea fee.
The winning design was number 27, entered by architects Edwin Alfred Rickards (1872-1920) and Henry Vaughan Lanchester (1863-1953). Lanchester, an engineer, used the new building material of reinforced concrete to create some of the structures in the building. The chosen style was described as Viennese Baroque with Romanesque decoration, as Rickards is said to have been influenced by the design of the Paris Opera House.
Only £242,206 of the amount allocated from the Twentieth Century Fund was used. The site alone cost £340,982 and the building work and fees a further £155,170. The surplus land was sold but the debt on the building was not cleared until 1972.
Revd John Wakerley is appointed as the first Superintendent Minister of the Westminster Methodist Circuit
Brought up in a Christian home at Melton Mowbray, John Wakerley was converted when 13 and candidated aged 21.
After training at Didsbury and Handsworth he started his ministry in Nottingham. He then moved to London serving, with a particular concern for the poor, huge congregations at both Clerkenwell and East Ham. He was called to establish the congregation at Westminster, where his passionate evangelical preaching made a great impact, but he left in poor health. He moved on to be District Missionary and then Chair of the East Anglia District. He was Assistant Secretary and then Secretary of the Wesleyan Church and in 1922 became President of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference.
Methodist Central Hall Westminster opened by Revd Luke Wiseman
After many years of planning, three years of building work, Methodist Central Hall Westminster was opened on the 3rd October 1912. There was no royal presence, no Prime Minister or ‘celebrity’, no great formal opening, no unveiling of anything. It was instead a day of what Methodists do best: prayer, preaching and singing.
More information to follow...
Rev. Dinsdale Young appointed as Superintedent
Born in Northumberland, Dinsdale Young started preaching at the age of 15 and soon candidated for the ministry. He served in London, Birmingham, York, Manchester and Edinburgh and for 8 years was minister at Wesley’s Chapel, City Road, London.
From there he came to Westminster for a remarkable 24 year ministry until his death, still in office, at the age of 77. He served as President of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference in 1914. He loved the Bible and argued passionately for its infallibility and divine inspiration. Above all he was an evangelical and biblical preacher. He was never known to speak unkindly of anyone and was loved and respected by all within Methodism.
The Public Inquiry into the sinking of the Lusitania.
The Public Inquiry into the sinking of the Lusitania takes place at Methodist Central Hall Westminster (MCHW). Read this article about the inquiry from the Guardian, (MCHW cannot be held responsible for the content of external links)
Sir Robert Meyer's concerts for children first held at MCHW
Sir Robert Meyer's concerts for children were held at MCHW until 1953 when they moved to the newly built Royal Festival Hall. The first concert was conducted by Sir Adrain Boult, but from 1924 the conductor was Sir Malcolm Sargent. Queen Mary came to the concert in 1928 & in later years the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose attended.
Sir Edward Elgar conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the Great Hall
Sir Edward Elgar conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the Great Hall.
Mahatma Gandhi gives a talk to the Temperance League
Mahatma Gandhi gives a talk to the Temperance League in the Library at Methodist Central Hall Westminster. This was part of a trip that Gandhi made to London in 1931.
The Uniting Conference of the Methodist Church
The Uniting Conference of the Methodist Church was held on 20th-24th September, bringing together the Wesleyan, Primitive and United Methodist Church.
Council of Action for Peace and Reconstruction inaugural meeting held, led by David Lloyd George
Council of Action for Peace and Reconstruction inaugural meeting held, led by David Lloyd George.
Death of Revd Dr Dinsdale Young - 3000 people attend his funeral in the Great Hall
(there is audio available of this)
Revd F Luke Wiseman appointed as interim Superintendent Minister
Upon the sudden death of Dinsdale Young it was decided that William Sangster should come to Westminster, but Luke Wiseman took charge as an interim measure. He was an active Methodist minister for an exceptional 63 years.
In 1912 he was elected President of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference and then in 1933 he became President of the Methodist Conference as we now know it. He had been Superintendent of the Birmingham Mission, led Home Mission work nationally and was a highly gifted preacher and evangelist, hymn writer and poet. His was a very safe pair of hands to sustain the work here between the ministries of those who many consider to be Westminster’s two most outstanding Superintendents.
Revd William E Sangster appointed as Superintendent Minister
Born into a poor family in the East End of London, William Sangster came to faith in his local Sunday school. After training for the ministry his various appointments were all marked by great blessing.
His first service here in Westminster was interrupted by the news that war had been declared, and soon he had organised a shelter which served Londoners for 1,688 days, his family also living here in the Hall.
A prolific author, especially on the theme of holiness, he wrote many books, often writing into the early hours. His popular evangelical preaching sustained a packed congregation throughout and after the War and his influence upon Methodism was profound. He was elected President of the Methodist Conference in 1950.
Revd Sangster preaching one of his sermons in the Great Hall from 1948.
Meetings held in the building to form the Free French Forces by General Charles de Gaulle
Meetings held in the building to form the Free French Forces by General Charles de Gaulle.
Lower level of the building used as an air raid shelter for close to 2,000 people
During the 'Blitz' of London, the basement of Methodist Central Hall Westminster was opened to the public who wished to take shelter. At the end of the war in 1945 many people enjoyed such community in the basement, (now Wesley's Café) that they wanted to stay on!
Prime Minister Clement Attlee celebrates the Labour Party's historic election victory
Prime Minister Clement Attlee celebrates the Labour Party's historic election victory from the Grand Staircase window to thousands of people outside
Inaugural meeting of the United Nations General Assembly
On the 10th January 1946, in a world convalescing from the horrors of a World War, the inaugural meeting of the United Nations General Assembly took place at Methodist Central Hall Westminster (MCHW). You can find out more via our detailed article published on the 75th anniversary of the UN meeting here.
American Evangelist Revd Billy Graham speaks in the Great Hall
American Evangelist Revd Billy Graham speaks in the Great Hall.
Revd Derrick Greeves appointed as Superintendent Minister
A fourth generation Methodist minister, Derrick Greeves was born in Cheshire and trained at Cambridge. Service in circuit ministry was followed by a period as an RAF chaplain.
During the war he became nationally known as a frequent and popular broadcaster, conducting the first ever Free Church Communion Service to be broadcast. Following Sangster here as Superintendent Minister was never going to be easy, but his pastoral skills and his love and compassion for people meant that he changed the emphasis from a gathered congregation of individuals into more of a Church family. He was a much loved, warm, infectious and skilful communicator of the gospel.
Press Conference during a visit to the UK by Soviet leaders Andrei Gromyko, Nikita Krushchev and Marshall Bulganin
Press Conference during a visit to the UK by Soviet leaders Andrei Gromyko, Nikita Krushchev and Marshall Bulganin.
Dr William Lloyd-Webber (father of Andrew and Julian) appointed Director of Music
Dr William Lloyd-Webber (father of Andrew and Julian) appointed Director of Music in 1958 - he served as Director of Music for 24 years.
William Lloyd Webber was born into a poor London family in 1914. The son of a self-employed plumber, he was fortunate, from a musical point of view, that his father was a keen organ ‘buff’ who spent what little spare money he had travelling to hear various organs in and around the capital. Often he would take his son with him, and before long, young William started to play the organ himself and developed an interest that bordered on the obsessional.
By the age of 14, William Lloyd Webber had already become a well-known organ recitalist, giving frequent performances at many important churches and cathedrals throughout Great Britain. He won an organ scholarship to Mercer’s School, later winning a further scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, where he studied composition with Ralph Vaughan Williams and gained his FRCO diploma at nineteen.
Parallel to his activities as an organist, he began to compose, and several interesting works date from this early period including the Fantasy Trio of 1936. Although the second world war interrupted his composition (he was organist and choirmaster at London’s All Saints, Margaret Street throughout the war), its ending marked the beginning of Lloyd Webber’s most prolific years as a composer. During the war he had married Jean Hermione Johnstone, a violinist and pianist. They had two sons: Andrew (b.1948) and Julian (b.1951).
From 1945 to the mid-1950s William Lloyd Webber wrote music in many different forms: vocal and instrumental, choral and organ, chamber and orchestral. Works from this period include the oratorio ‘St. Francis of Assisi’, the orchestral tone poem ‘Aurora’, the Sonatinas for viola and piano and flute and piano, and numerous songs, organ pieces and choral works. But Lloyd Webber’s roots were firmly embedded in the romanticism of such composers as Rachmaninov, Sibelius and Franck, and he became increasingly convinced that his own music was ‘out of step’ with the prevailing climate of the time. Rather than compromise his style, he turned to the academic side of British musical life – teaching at the Royal College of Music and, in 1964, accepting the Directorship of the London College of Music. Disillusioned with composition, he wrote virtually nothing for the next 20 years – until shortly before his death, when a sudden flowering of creativity produced among a number of works the mass ‘Missa Sanctae Mariae Magdalenae’ (available on ASV CD, DCA 961).
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament launched at a conference in the Great Hall
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament launched at a conference in the Great Hall
Revd Dr Martin Luther King addresses the 'Colour prejudice must go' rally in the Great Hall
Revd Dr Martin Luther King addresses the 'Colour prejudice must go' rally in the Great Hall
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attends event to mark the 10th anniversary of the successful Everest ascent.
Prince Philip. The Duke of Edinburgh is followed by Sir Tensing Norgay with Sir Edmund Hillary, the first conqueror of Everest, as he arrives at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London to attend a meeting commemorating the tenth anniversary of the successful Everest ascent.
Revd Maurice Barnett appointed as Superintendent Minister
Growing up in Cheshire, Maurice Barnett went first to Cliff College, Derbyshire and then trained for the ministry at Manchester. Almost his entire ministry was spent in central missions, serving at East Ham, Bristol and for 17 years at the Eastbrook Hall, Bradford.
He was an author and much travelled international preacher. When he came to Westminster he worked with Lord Rank to refurbish the building and finally cleared the still outstanding original debt. He was an ardent ecumenist and greatly developed the links between Methodist Central Hall, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. His preaching was evangelical with a great emphasis upon the work of the Holy Spirit. He died whilst still in office.
Theft of the FIFA World Cup from the Library during a morning service.
During a Sunday morning service, weeks before it was lifted aloft by Bobby Moore at Wembley, the £30,000 solid gold Jules Rimet trophy disappeared from an exhibit in the Library at Methodist Central Hall Westminster. Panic ensued and what became one of the biggest investigations in Scotland Yard’s history of the time, rewards were posted in an attempt to retrieve the trophy. The Gillette Razor company put up £500, City firms offered £3,000, and the then chairman of Fulham FC, Tommy Trinder promised £1,000 to anyone who could retrieve the coveted trophy.
As the story goes, a hoax caller even claimed it was hidden in a brown suitcase in left luggage at Charing Cross and a £15,000 ransom was sent to the FA Chairman Joe Mears.
Enter Pickles, the heroic hound who sniffed out the expensive doggy treat a week later. Pickles the Collie had discovered the trophy hidden under a bush during his evening walk in a south London park.
Pickles’ owner, Mr Corbett, curious to know what his four-legged friend had come across, discovered the trophy wrapped in newspaper and quickly realised its significance. After examining the coveted cup with his wife, Mr Corbett took it to the police station claiming it was his dog Pickles who had found it.
For his dogged efforts, the heroic Pickles was rewarded with a solid silver medal, £53 in cash, a rubber bone, a year’s supply of dog food and a part on a comic show called the Spy with the Cold Nose. After much deliberation, even Mr Corbett won an impressive £6,000, substantially more than the England team players who each received £1,360 in bonuses after winning the World Cup!
After all the palaver, the now infamous Jules Rimet trophy was yet again swiped in 1983 from the Brazilian FA headquarters. The Brazilian team had just been awarded the trophy outright after winning the World Cup for a third time in 1970. The cup itself was never seen again and many believe it’s been melted down, although a replica secretly made at the time of its first disappearance can be found in the English National Football Museum in Manchester.
Recent news has only just emerged revealing that known armed robber Sidney and his brother Reg were opportunist thieves who made their getaway from Central Hall Westminster with the trophy under their arm without using the slightest bit of force. According to reports, it was nicked just for the thrill of it, hearsay has it that they would have never melted it down or sought to make money from their loot as to them it was the legendary World Cup trophy!
Needless to say, Central Hall Westminster has ramped up its security considerably since 1966…
First public performance of 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
Originally written as a ‘pop cantata’ for Colet Court, St Paul’s Junior School, the first public performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was staged at Methodist Central Hall Westminster after Andrew's father, William, who was Musical Director at the time, felt the show had the seeds of greatness. Julian Lloyd Webber gave a classical recital in the first half, along with his father. The audience of approximately 2,500 consisted mainly of parents of the Colet Court boys.
Statue of John Wesley by Samuel Manning unveiled outside the Great Hall by George Thomas, Speaker of the House of Commons
Statue of John Wesley by Samuel Manning unveiled outside the Great Hall by George Thomas, Speaker of the House of Commons.
Revd Irvonwy Morgan appointed as Superintendent Minister
Stepping into the breach after the untimely death of his predecessor, Irvonwy Morgan was a man of immense talent and gifts.
He had spent his whole ministry in the East End of London and then moved to be the Secretary responsible for mission work in London, with the particular task of rebuilding Churches after the Blitz.
He was an internationally travelled preacher, a scholar of the Puritans and a published poet. In 1967 he was elected President of the Methodist Conference and in 1972 was made Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council. He was also Chairman of the Bible Lands Society. He retired in 1979, but came out of retirement to serve here as Superintendent until another minister could be appointed.
Revd John Tudor appointed as Superintendent Minister
John Tudor was born in Northampton and was a “son of the manse”. He spent most of his ministry in Methodist Central Missions. A man of tremendous energy he was known for his preaching, administration and pastoral care – especially of those passing through difficult times.
John oversaw the re-leading of the dome, the exterior cleaning of the building and an expansion of the Hall’s conference facilities. From his initiatives came the introduction of “Daffodil Day”, the formation of the Methodist Parliamentary Fellowship and the ecumenical Good Friday March of Witness. In difficult times his energy and optimism were an inspiration.
The Dalai Lama addresses a meeting during his visit to London
The Dalai Lama addresses a meeting during his visit to London at the invitation of the Dean of Westminster.
Prince and Princess of Wales attend Carol Service for London Fire Brigade
Prince Charles and Princess Diana attend a carol service for the London Fire Brigade in the Great Hall.
Lecture by Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union
Lecture by Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union.
Rev Peter Graves appointed as Superintendent Minister
Rooted in suburban London, Peter Graves was briefly a civil servant before offering for the Methodist ministry. Academic study in Birmingham and the United States were followed by circuit ministry and chaplaincy in London.
He then served as minister at some of Methodism’s largest churches. During his ministry here the Connexional Offices moved to Marylebone Road and the work of the Conference Centre developed.
He was a writer and broadcaster, an outstanding preacher and teacher, deeply committed to small group Bible study and to the sacramental life of the Church. Peter supported the development of Church structures that encouraged the participation and multi-ethnicity of the congregation.
50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations
50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations. In 1996 then Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali spoke in the Great Hall, (you can read about his speech here). He also planted a tree on the green opposite our building in front of the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre. In 2021 on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the green where the tree was planted was renamed 'United Nations Green.'
Service for the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta
A United Service of Thanksgiving was held for the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in the Great Hall on Sunday, 31st May 1998. The Preacher was His Eminence Cardinal Basil Hume and the service was conducted by the then Superintendent Minister, Revd Dr Peter Graves.
Central Hall Westminster Ltd (CHW Ltd) was created.
In 1999 Central Hall Westminster Ltd (CHW Ltd) was created and the conference and events venue formed.
As a not-for-profit company, CHW Ltd’s primary purpose is to provide the means to maintain the wonderful Grade II* listed building and provide income to the Trustee Body which is used to support the local Church mission and ministry, and give donations to various other international and domestic charities. Accordingly, the building has two distinct but complimentary purposes - a meeting venue and a local Methodist Church.
A board of directors are responsible for the subsidiary company (CHW Ltd) to provide strategic planning and guidance to the business centre conference and events team.
Revd Dr Malcom White appointed as Superintendent Minister
Born in Bath, Malcolm White studied science in London and theology at Cambridge.
After initial service in caravan missions and circuit he combined Christian ministry with education and politics, variously as a Cliff College tutor, a Methodist school chaplain, a candidate for Parliament and as a London comprehensive school Head Teacher for 16 years.
During all this time he was actively involved in the leadership of local Churches. In 1998 Malcolm came here to set up the prayer and healing ministry which he led for 14 years. His year as Superintendent was a time of grace and blessing for the Church.
Revd Martin Turner appointed as Superintendent Minister
Born and growing up a Londoner, Martin Turner taught in the East End. He then trained as both a Methodist minister and youth worker. At various times he served as a university chaplain, LEA youth centre leader and prison chaplain.
He developed local churches to better serve their communities and emphasised the healing ministry and biblical preaching. Connexionally he led Headway, Methodism’s evangelical grouping, and served on the Methodist Conference and various Connexional committees for many years. His time here brought much change.
Millions of pounds were spent on a complete renewal of the building and refurbishing the organ. He developed social outreach, team leadership, specialist ministry, brought more variety to worship and saw much growth.
Dedication of the new Chapel in the area previously leased and used as a bank for 90 years
Dedication of the new Chapel in the area previously leased and used as a bank for 90 years.
Anglican-Methodist Covenant signed in the presence of HM The Queen
Anglican-Methodist Covenant signed in the presence of HM The Queen.
The covenant text reads as follows;
'We the Methodist Church of Great Britain and the Church of England, on the basis of our shared history, our full agreement in the apostolic faith, our shared theological understandings of the nature and mission of the Church and of its ministry and oversight, and our agreement on the goal of full visible unity, as set out in the previous sections of our Common Statement, hereby make the following Covenant in the form of interdependent Affirmations and Commitments. We do so both in a spirit of penitence for all that human sinfulness and narrowness of vision have contributed to our past divisions, believing that we have been impoverished through our separation and that our witness to the gospel has been weakened accordingly, and in a spirit of thanksgiving and joy for the convergence in faith and collaboration in mission that we have experienced in recent years.'
You can read more and see a copy of the signed covenant document here.
HM The Queen attends a reconciliation concert to mark the 60th anniversary of VE Day
HM The Queen attends a reconciliation concert to mark the 60th anniversary of VE Day. During this visit the Queen unveiled the Wesley statue in our reception area after it had been moved from our Crush Hall. She was said to have remarked, 'it's nice to unveil someone who is smaller than me!'
Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations addresses the Great Hall on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the UN
Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations addresses the Great Hall on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the UN.
Laureus World Sports Awards staged in the building, the first time in the UK
Laureus World Sports Awards staged in the building, the first time in the UK.
This event was hosted by our conference and events company, Central Hall Westminster Ltd.
BBC hold the first of their 'Rock Big Ben' concerts to see in the New Year LIVE from the Great Hall
The BBC hold the first of their 'Rock Big Ben' concerts to see in the New Year LIVE from the Great Hall.
General Election Debates
During the 2015 General Election campaign, the BBC hosted their opposition leaders' debate in our historic Great Hall. Leaders of the main opposition parties contesting the election, including Ed Miliband of the Labour Party and Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP took part in the live debate in front of a studio audience. The debate was hosted by David Dimbleby.
Revd Dr Martyn Atkins appointed as Superintendent Minister
In September 2015, Martyn succeeded his great friend, Revd Martin Turner as Team Leader and Superintendent Minister of Methodist Central Hall, Westminster.
Martyn Atkins became a Christian at the age of 17 through the ministry of an evangelist in a nightclub in Yorkshire in the early hours of the morning. As importantly, he was immediately welcomed into a local Methodist Church where a vibrant youth group soon emerged and he grew in faith, quickly experiencing God’s call to be a minister.
Martyn went to theological training college at the age of 22, and met and married his wife Helen during that time. His first local church appointment was 5 years in inner city Leeds, followed by 5 years in West Yorkshire, during which decade Helen and Martyn had three sons, and he completed what he describes as “the longest part time PhD in history!”
Then followed several years in North Devon where Martyn was chaplain to a Methodist school of some 500 pupils. In 1996 he went to Cliff College where he served for 12 years, first as a tutor and latterly as the Principal, training both lay and ordained people for the ministry of various kinds, and teaching and writing mainly about mission, evangelism, preaching, then increasingly ‘new ways of being church'.
In 2007 Martyn was elected as the President of the Methodist Conference, and a year later was appointed as General Secretary of the British Methodist Church and Secretary of the Conference.
In September 2015, Martyn was appointed as the Superintendent Minister of Methodist Central Hall Westminster. During his time at MCHW Martyn was known for his wise leadership and his rich and challenging preaching, (many covered in his book of sermons 'New Westminster Sermons'.) Martyn also oversaw the refurbishment of the Chapel which was completed in 2019. Without Martyn's vision for refurbishing the chapel it would have proved nearly impossible to offer 'Church Online Every Sunday' during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Martyn 'sat down' from being Superintendent at MCHW on 24th May 2020.
James Corden brings his 'Late Late show' to the Great Hall
James Corden brings his 'Late Late show' to the Great Hall with guests such as David Beckham, Tom Hanks, (who sang And Can it Be!) Nicole Kidman and many others.
This event was hosted by Central Hall Westminster Ltd, (CHW).
BBC Songs of Praise is held at Methodist Central Hall Westminster
BBC Songs of Praise is held from Methodist Central Hall Westminster.
Hymns and songs from the historic Methodist Central Hall Westminster with guest Julian Lloyd Webber, who reminisces about his father's time there as organist. The Rev Tony Miles and Rev Martyn Atkins reveal the hall's links to the United Nations.
Connie Fisher visits the St Vincent's Family Project supporting local young families and children, and she hears from performers from the West End's musical theatre about the challenges of being a Christian in the world of show business.
O Thou Who Camest from Above - Methodist Central Hall Westminster
What a Friend We Have in Jesus - Methodist Central Hall Westminster Jazz Vesper Group
Love Divine - Methodist Central Hall Westminster
Father of Everlasting Grace - Methodist Central Hall Westminster.
The Homeless Jesus Statue by Timothy Schmaltz is unveiled at Methodist Central Hall Westminster
The Homeless Jesus Statue by Timothy Schmaltz is unveiled at Methodist Central Hall Westminster
TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge attend the Holocaust Memorial Day service on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge attend the Holocaust Memorial Day service on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
MCHW moves services 'Online' during the Covid-19 Pandemic
In March 2020 the world was struck by the Covid-19 'Coronavirus' Pandemic and the church had to close its physical doors to the world. Methodist Central Hall Westminster moved quickly and the staff team pulled together with our partners at White Light Ltd to create 'Church Online Every Sunday.' Led initially from White Light's 'Smartstage' studio in London the services moved to the Chapel in June 2020. A new church website 'MCHW.LIVE' was launched in July 2020 and continues to serve as the virtual hub for the church, growing and developing each week!
The services have reached millions of people across the world and have been able to bring our church together during one of the most difficult times in our history. People can watch the service live each Sunday, or alternatively watch back at a time that works for them via our catchup page.
Revd Tony Miles appointed as Superintendent Minister
In addition to being the Superintendent of MCHW, Tony is also a Managing Trustee of the MCHW building and a Non-Executive Director of the international conference centre, Central Hall Westminster Ltd
In addition to being the Superintendent of MCHW, Tony is also a Managing Trustee of the MCHW building and a Non-Executive Director of the international conference centre, Central Hall Westminster Ltd. As a Broadcaster, Tony has presented radio programmes for Premier Christian Radio weekly since 1997. He can also be heard on BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought on the Early Breakfast Show with Vanessa Feltz , where he has been a regular contributor since 2010. In the past served as Media Chaplain for over 10 years and was the chair of the Church and Media Network.
Together with the team at MCHW, Tony launched popular online services during the pandemic - now known as MCHW.LIVE– which will be a feature of MCHW’s future outreach. Tony has written three books: Maybe Tomorrow (2012) and Maybe Today (2009) published by CWR, and Like A Child written with his wife, Frances, in 2003. Tony and Frances have been trustees of various charities over the years. They are both Rotarians and Tony is a Paul Harris Fellow. They have two adult children, four grandchildren, and are faithful supporters of Fulham Football Club.
75th anniversary of the United Nations
75th anniversary of the United Nations take place 'online' due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Our Morning Worship service featured a message from António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, and contributions from the President of the Methodist Church Conference, Revd Richard Teal; Fabrizio Hothschild Drummond, special advisor to the UN General-Secretary; Sir Peter Marshall, Former British diplomat, serving with the UN in New York and Geneva, and later, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-Genera; and David Wardrop, Chair of the Westminster branch of the United Nations Association UK (UNA-UK) There will also be a message from Dame Barbara Woodhouse and Lieutenant Colonel Tom Robinson, Commanding Officer of the UN's peacekeeping troops from the UK, currently serving in Mali, West Africa.
Watch the service below...
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II took place on Monday, 19th September 2022. After passing away at Balmoral on Thursday, 8th September the late Queen was flown from Edinburgh to lie in state at Westminster Hall, before her state funeral at Westminster Abbey. On Saturday, 11th September media from all over the world started arriving at Methodist Central Hall Westminster, which would serve as a media center throughout the events leading up to the funeral. Over 500 world leaders attended the funeral including President Biden and Mrs. Jill Biden, President Macron, Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada and all six living past UK Prime Ministers, (read more in our timeline article).