History

The founding of the Chapel dates back to before 1886 when William Lees, a lay reader at St Mary the Virgin (Lapworth Parish Church), started the “Kingswood Mission” with its purpose being to cater for the spiritual needs of domestic staff employed by the local gentry and the labourers on the railway and canal. Initially meetings were held in the home of a Mrs Allen at Gowan Bank in Station Lane. As numbers grew Mrs Allen built a small hall adjoining the house.

Then later in 1886 the present hall was built. After the death of William Lees (29th January 1907) the building was renamed the “Lees Memorial Hall”. In the early 20th century it was decided to establish the work as an evangelical non-denominational church.

In 1921 the property next to the chapel, Kingswood Lodge, was purchased for a manse and remained in the church’s ownership until 1979. For over 50 years there was a full-time minister who preached at regular morning and evening services. Up to the outbreak of WW2 the minister was Captain & Mrs John Metcalf.

Then during the late 1960’s and 1970’s the church suffered serious decline and a decision to close was made in August 1976. The buildings were also in a poor state. Kingswood Lodge in particular was declared unsafe in 1970.

In 1977 Rev Bill Rogers (a Probation Officer) and a few people from the Solihull Christian Fellowship decided to recommence meetings at the church. Kingswood Lodge was sold via auction in September 1978 and the proceeds were used to renovate the church itself at a cost of £1,300.

During his tenure (1977 – 1987) the work grew steadily with regular Sunday Services and a thriving young people’s work. In 1984 the church became a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. Bill resigned from the ministry in August 1987.

From 1987, Gerald Tanner, along with his wife Rita, served in ministry until 2014. January 2014 saw the induction of James Tydeman as Assistant Pastor along with his wife Bethan, taking over the full-time role when Gerald was called to ministry in Sheffield.