Church History



The church’s beginnings can be traced to the first Hallam Methodist Society founded in or around 1756 in an alehouse at Goole Green a few hundred yards from the present building. Historian Rev James Everett records how, previously, Mrs Woodhouse (sic), the wife of the alehouse keeper had been present at an overcrowded private dwelling at Ranmoor to hear an itinerant preacher and had offered the large public room at Goole Green as a more suitable venue. The dozen or so local Methodists, who had previously worshipped in town, adopted this as their own base. And perhaps even more unusually for the time, the new Hallam Society was led for its first two years by a young woman, Sarah Moore, a school-teacher in her early twenties living in Fargate, and almost certainly an appointee of John Wesley.


 Although worship times would have been quite regular, itinerant preachers’ visits were frequently erratic and legend has it that Ann Woodhouse hung a white sheet on an adjacent tree to advertise such an arrival to the whole neighbourhood. The story is quite plausible given the elevated position of Goole Green and the absence of the numerous houses and trees of the modern landscape. Unfortunately Ann died young, but, together with Sarah Moore and a handful of others, left a lasting legacy – one still prospering after more than 250 years.


 The alehouse served as a meeting place for more than a quarter century until a small chapel was built at Ranmoor in 1783. This, in turn, was superseded by a larger church and school built on other parts of the same site in 1869-70 to cater for the suburb’s rapidly rising mid-Victorian population. In a move to rationalize local resources Ranmoor finally closed in 1963, its membership amalgamating with that of neighbouring St George’s, Nether Green, (itself with a previously merged congregation) to form the Hallam Methodist Church. The main road site on popular bus routes confirmed it as the better placed building for future outreach and community service.


Finally in 2010, Hallam joined with the congregations from Stephen Hill, Broomhill and  Crookes Valley to form a single church, The Beacon, using sites at Nether Green, Stephen Hill and Broomhill.


Father Willis Organ


The organ was the gift of Mark Firth and was built for Broomhill Chapel at the corner of Westbourne road and Glossop Road, Broomhill in 1863.  It was built by 'Father Willis' and was then a two manual organ.  Samuel Sebastian Wesley, organist of Winchester Cathedral, opened it on 21 January 1864.  In 1890 a third manual was added by Father Willis and the organ remains as he left it.


Henry Willis III transferred the organ to what is now Nether Green building in 1946 when the two churches merged after the Broomhill chapel was bombed.

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