Huntingdon Methodist Church in Cambridgeshire is situated on the High Street in Huntingdon. The current Methodist Church building was erected in 1878 and the ancillary buildings have been added over the years. The interior of the current multipurpose worship area was substantially redeveloped in 1988, and in 2000 the toilets and kitchens were refurbished to comply with the health and safety standards.  The premises is used by church groups, community and voluntary organisations, and in particular we have a significant number of regular users with physical and learning difficulties. 


The church has a vision to create a caring and supportive environment for the whole community and the church recognised the fast growing and evolving challenges that were being experienced by their church and community.  In order to fully appreciate these implications, they embarked on extensive research, investigation, consultation and planning before commencing with the Here4Huntingdon (H4H) scheme.  The church met regularly with both internal and our external users to both help them understand the scope and the range of facilities which are required by every group. These views have been taken into account wherever possible in the overall design, including modifications to changes made in the previous works.  Some of the potential specifications and requirements identified by the User Group Forum which have been incorporated in the plans include:

  • A large open space area suitable for children, young people, and adults to use for physical activates including indoor games, community dance and exercise groups, etc.
  • Smaller rooms that could be used for confidential conversation
  • Easily accessible storage areas for tables, chairs, screens and user group equipment and resources
  • A multipurpose lounge /refreshment/ reception area with access to a larger fully equipped kitchen.
  • Good internet and Wi-Fi coverage throughout the building
  • More convenient external accesses to various parts of the building
  • User friendly Audio-visual facilities throughout the premises
  • Interchangeable staging suitable for drama and music concerts. 

From this research the church established the urgent need to extend and upgrade the premises so that they could meet both the current needs and future demands of the growing local community, and in particular to increase our support for the most disadvantaged including people with learning difficulties and special needs. 


In May 2012, Huntingdon Methodist Church launched the Here4Huntingdon (H4H) project to redevelop, extend and refurbish its premises with a focus on responding to the needs of the local community.  The architects and other professionals worked with the H4H Steering Group and the Huntingdon Methodist Church Council to produce the plans that were approved by the district council. The original plan and timeline was that the project would be delivered in three main phases to minimise the disruption to the existing life of the church, our partners, and neighbours, and to enable us to obtain the best available value for money at each stage.  The phasing approach also ensured that the Steering Group had more control over meeting the delivery dates and keeping the additional costs under control. This helped to minimise the disruption to both the existing users of the premises and to our neighbours.

Phase 1 provided the re-roofing of the original church building, including energy efficient roof insulation, the rebuilding of part of the front façade and the restoration work to the existing stonework. Phase 2 centred on the total redevelopment of the rear hall, ancillary rooms and toilets, including new heating, lighting, new windows, doors and floors.  Phases 1 and 2 were successfully delivered and paid for in 2016.  Phase 3 concentrated on building the new side extension on the west side of the original church building which has provided a new main entrance and reception area.  However, the Covid pandemic, which interrupted Phase 3 at a critical time, significantly delayed the timeline.  Further delays and costs were accrued by the discovery of asbestos and a collapsed drainage system.  Additional funds were raised and Phase 3 was completed in December  2021.  At each phase of the redevelopment was completed, Huntingdon Methodist Church continued to grow and to be a vital strategic centre for Huntingdon and the surrounding area as well as meet the needs of the church.

The decision has also been taken by Church Council to proceed with a new Phase 4 which will concentrate on the necessary improvements to the church worship area. However, this will be done in a series of small projects so that any disruption can be kept to a minimum and the funding requirements managed in a more timely and targeted manner.  A timeline has not been agreed at the present time because the church family is still in the process of both returning from the Covid impacts and also from addressing the financial issues caused by the increases in the general cost of living and energy.


Since completion, Huntingdon Methodist Church has a suite of premises which are designed and equipped to provide an enduring resource for the people of Huntingdon and the surrounding area. The Church Council will continue to be receptive to further changes and improvements as the needs of both the church and community develop in the coming years. The increase in usage from both new church groups, outreach opportunities, and community groups is very exciting.  The extra space has been close to 100% occupation on some days.  The new and extended facilities have enabled the church to start new ventures with some of the most vulnerable members in our community.  The church also runs a weekly Warm Space, which provides a warm safe space with free food, games, DVDs, books magazines and unconditional friendship . These include a weekly social evening for singles and  a "Scone Friday"  drop in with light refreshments.  As well, there are a variety of external groups such the Premature Baby Massage Group and English lessons for our growing ethnic  groups.  

The church has been able to call on the expertise of several members who are experienced in both fundraising locally and in identifying and applying to external funding bodies. However, because of the amount of work involved in raising over £600,000 for Phase3, a professional fundraiser was engaged. Her knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment meant that with the support of members and the H4H Steering group, all of the required funds were secured. The church was fortunate to secure their funding before the Covid pandemic.  However, due to the asbestos and the collapsed drains, an additional amount of £65,000 was needed.  With the advice of our fundraiser we were able to secure this so that the additional work could be authorised and completed with the minimum delay.


H4H Phases 1-3 have cost over £985,000, and the church are grateful to the following funding bodies who have all generously supported us with grants and donations amounting to £782,039. And the church is proud of raising the balance of around £203,000 (more than 20% of the overall total) from the church family and friends.  Other funders include:

James Gibbs Charitable Trust
Allchurches Trust
Hunter- Rowe Trust
Brampton Church Land Charity
Beatrice Laing Trust
The Norwood and Newton Settlement
Huntingdon Freeman`s Trust
Methodist Church (Connexion)
East Anglia District
St Neots &Huntingdon Circuit
Woodford Community and Environmental Fund
FCC Communities Foundation (WREN)
The Joseph Rank Trust
Bernard Sunley Foundation
Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes (TMCP)
Methodist Insurance Fund
The Garfield Weston Foundation
The Amey Community Fund

Click here to learn more about the project.