The Proposed Development
Our current expectation continues to be that, working with the Wesley Hotel Group, the building (including the Chambers) will be converted to an ethical hotel. The group already have one such hotel on Euston Street near London's Euston Station.
If this plan goes ahead the work is anticipated to start in September 2018 and take approximately two years to complete.
In addition to accommodating guests and the services of a hotel, there will be meeting rooms and a sacred space.
Under arrangements, yet to be finalised, income from the hotel will be available to the Methodist Church to support city-centre work of the Leeds Methodist Mission in Leeds and the wider region.
What's happening ...
In September 2017 two planning applications were submitted to Leeds City Council. These can be inspected through the Public Access pages of the Leeds City Council's web site. The reference numbers of the two applications are:
To view this document:
Proposed Conversion of Church to 70 bed hotel with restaurant and meeting rooms for circa 100 delegates [PDF, 17 pages]
The period leading up to the start of re-development
During this period, most activities will continue, but it is expected that organisations who use, hire or rent space in the Centre will be looking for alternatives sooner or later.
The Property and Conference Manager and his team will continue in their present roles.
Leeds Methodist Mission
During the period of development, the work of the Leeds Methodist Mission continues, though with a new deacon. At the beginning of September 2017, Deacon Jenny Jones took up a new appointment in Nottingham and Deacon Meridith Evans, succeeded Jenny.
It is hoped that a city-centre base will be found for Meridith when the present deacon's office in the Oxford Place Centre ceases to be available.
Leeds Methodist Mission Council
The Leeds Methodist Mission Council was dissolved at the end of August 2017 and its responsibilities transferred to two new groups already appointed by the District Synod – the Building Development Group and the Mission Development Group. The first group will work with the Wesley Hotel Group and the second will provide support and guidance to Meridith as he continues the work developed by Jenny.
Oxford Place Methodist Church
Since the first indications that a redevelopment of the Oxford Place Centre building was being considered, the Oxford Place Methodist Church, at its Council meetings, has been discussing the future of the Church. Various possibilities have been suggested, however, at its meeting in May 2017, the Church Council realised that attempting to maintain a worshipping community over the period of the re-development would be very difficult. The Council, therefore, decided that the church should close.
On Sunday, 8th October 2017, the Church held its final services, celebrating 182 years of witness and worship in the centre of Leeds.
The programme for the day was:
It is hoped that those who in the past have had links with the Church will join the present congregation at one or both of these services.
Leeds Christian Fellowship Church
For a number of years the people of the Leeds Christian Fellowship Church have worshipped in the Oxford Place Centre and have held other meetings on Fridays and Saturdays. Because of the changes outlined on this page, we will no longer be able to offer them our hospitality beyond July 2018. We hope and pray that they will find a suitable place elsewhere in the city where their community can continue to meet for worship.
Leeds Methodist District
Coincidently, three of the four Methodist districts in Yorkshire were reconfigured from September 2017. As a result, the Leeds District ceased to exist. Four circuits previously in the Leeds District (Leeds South and West, Leeds North and East, Aire and Calder, and Wharfedale and Aireborough) joined with all the circuits in the present West Yorkshire District to form the new Yorkshire West District, and two (Pateley Bridge and Nidd Valley) joined with the circuit of the York and Hull District to form the Yorkshire North and East District.
The main direct consequences of this for the Oxford Place Centre were that on 1st September 2017:
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This page updated 2017-10-14