Work begins on Epworth church gardens revamp and statue

(l-r) Designer Stephen Welch, of Welch Landscape Design, contractor Darren Ashmore, of Killingley, Rev David Leese and property steward David Fields all hold the plans which will see the gardens of Epworth Wesley Memorial Methodist Church transformed to a new public garden. Picture: Andrew Roe
(l-r) Designer Stephen Welch, of Welch Landscape Design, contractor Darren Ashmore, of Killingley, Rev David Leese and property steward David Fields all hold the plans which will see the gardens of Epworth Wesley Memorial Methodist Church transformed to a new public garden. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A project has been launched to revamp the gardens of an Isle church and site a statue in honour of Methodist movement pioneer John Wesley.

Work started to upgrade the communal front gardens of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Epworth.

A life-sized statue of Epworth-born John Wesley will form the centrepiece of the green space.

All of the work has been kindly undertaken for free by supporters of the church.

Reverend David Leese said: “We really want to spruce up the place to make it more user friendly.

“It is clean and tidy now but by the time its finished it will be a really nice place to visit.

“The aim of the work is to facilitate use of this green area and increase its amenity value to the people of Epworth and the wider Isle of Axholme.

“The statue is about 6ft tall so I think it will look quite impressive.

“I’m sure the redevelopment will see more people visit the gardens and church.

”It will make it more of a nice place to visit and spend time.”

The work includes refiguring the garden to have new planting and raised garden beds.

There will also be improvements to paths to allow for disabled access and a central seating area.

The Wesley statue will depict him standing on a globe in recognition of his founding of the world-wide Methodist movement with his brother Charles in Epworth in the 18th century.

There is also be a commemorative stone roundel in honour of Charles.

The tablet was formally laid by Rev Leese on December 4 in a ceremony attended by other people involved with the project.

Collectively the work is being undertaken for free by NT Killingley Ltd, Lapicida of Harrogate, Crowders of Horncastle and Welch Landscape Design.

Rev Leese paid tribute to everyone who has agreed to become a part of the project.

He said: “The Wesley Memorial Methodist Church Council is greatly appreciative of the gifts that are enabling this work to be undertaken.

“Some of the business owners are members of the church and they are all our friends.

“It is an amazing donation they are giving to us.

“Our international visitors ask for reminders of the Wesley brothers.

“These two new features in the gardens will prove an added attraction for them.

“We all look forward to when the project is completed, hopefully in the coming months.”

Project leaders hope the new garden will be formally opened in spring next year.