|The congregation first met in the workshop to the left which had previously|
been a small shoe factory. ROBB BUTLER
Meanwhile, the non-conformist city churches began to explore new locations in which they could provide a mission for new residents. In 1894 the Dagnall Street Methodists launched their mission in Cavendish Road; initially front rooms and open spaces where houses had not yet been built; then meeting in Lee's small shoe manufactory, formerly a harness maker's shop and later to become the workshop of Butler's Motor Garage. For a few years both the adults and the Sunday school would worship among the part-made boots and the smell of shoe leather ...
|Plaque marks the arrival on the present site.|
|The first church building at Glenferrie Road|
...Until a corrugated iron Nissen-style building was acquired on a narrow plot in Hatfield Road* which the members could fit out for permanent use. As far as this group was concerned the dawn of the twentieth century offered a sparkling future. However, not content with what they already had, this Methodist branch moved on and secured a site nearer to the heart of Fleetville, on the corner of Glenferrie Road.
Initially a multi-purpose hall and Sunday school room in more temporary accommodation it was at Glenferrie Road that the Methodists set their roots down permanently.
They have reached a significant milestone now that the new little suburb they joined in 1894 has expanded to become the city's largest and most vibrant district. Next week Hatfield Road Methodist Church will be celebrating its 125th anniversary in Fleetville – for although that name traditionally belonged to the little area around the original print works (now the Morrison's site) the name could be applied to anywhere hereabouts, from Beaumont Avenue to The Crown, and is included in two wards, Ashley and Clarence.
We wish the Methodist Church a happy anniversary and hope that their tenure in Hatfield Road remains for at least another 125 years.
* Acquired by the Camp Liberal Club which later replaced the corrugated building. This same building is now Hatfield Road Sports & Social Club.