160-year-old Willenhall church forced to shut down

Worshippers at a church that has been a focal point of the community for more than 160 years bowed out with a celebration service after being forced to close the doors because of a dwindling congregation and rising running costs.

New Invention Methodist Church was set up in the 1840s with the first meetings held in cottages before the actual church itself was built.

The original chapel was constructed in Lichfield Road in 1851, but, as attendances grew, the existing red brick building on the opposite side of the road opened for worship in 1898.

Despite the sadness of closing down, the congregation held a thanksgiving service attended by more than 130 people to celebrate its ministry in the community for well over a century.

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