On 3rd March Princes Risborough Methodist Church celebrated the building's 150th anniversary. The morning service was led by Rev Dr Leslie Griffiths, Lord Griffiths of Burry Port. This was followed by a lovely lunch. A special cake was made for the occasion and a small display of photos and other items showed a little of the history of the church.
The first Methodist church in Princes Risborough dates back to 1824 when Methodists took over an old Presbyterian chapel in Back Lane (now New Road). The building wasn't in very good condition as money was continually being spent on repairs.
In 1867 the trustees bought land in Wycombe Road and built a new church. This was opened in 1869. Old Circuit records describe it as "an unpretentious building with a room at the back. Old pictures show it enclosed at the front with wooden railings. It was fitted with bench seats for which members paid a pew rent of 6p a quarter. There was also a galley with about three rows of seats.
In 1969 to mark the centenary of the present building a number of renovations were carried out. Most of the benches were replaced with wooden folding seats. A small kitchen was built off the back room, and the outside earth toilet converted to a flush toilet. Gas heaters replaced the old tortoise stoves. This was an unfortunate choice as they caused a lot of condensation on the walls, which continually ran with water. Most important of all, an illuminated cross was erected on the outside of the building.
Improvements to the premises were also made in 1975, and in 1980 plans to enlarge the premises at the back were carried out. In that year the church was also able to buy the house next door and then resell it, retaining much of the garden, part of which included land immediately behind the church building.
Further improvements were made over the years with major changes taking place in 2008 when a new porch with front facing glass doors and an extension at the back of the building were created. This made room for a vestry, a disabled toilet and a new kitchen, which enabled us to widen the scope for meal preparation for special occasions. Vast improvements were also made to the worship area, including the removal of a false ceiling making it lighter and a more welcoming place to worship.