St John's Northgate Methodist Church has the distinction of being the oldest continually used site for worship in Methodism in the world. John Wesley and George Whitfield preached from the pulpit in the church. A church on this site is believed to have existed as early as AD 931, said to be founded by King Athelstan; this was however rebuilt in the 11th century and was then dedicated to St John the Baptist. The bulk of the present building however dates from 1732, though the 14th century tower and spire, which belonged to the earlier building were retained. The building is Grade 2* (star) which puts it in the top 6% of most significant buildings nationally.
It was an Anglican church, and was called St John the Baptist. The renaming to call it St. John's Northgate took place when the Methodists from Northgate Methodist Church moved to share with the Anglicans in 1972. The Anglican numbers dwindled until the site was formally handed over to the Methodist on a long-term lease in 1994. At the time of the sharing agreement a new church hall was built on the old burial ground, and this hall is the focus of much community use and mission to the people of Gloucester in the city centre.
The Sunday school movement and its development had very significant links with St John's, in that the Rector Thomas Stock, jointly with Robert Raikes, proprietor of the Gloucester Journal, became co-founders of the Sunday School movement.
There are a number of significant activities which take place on both premises due to the central location. There are fortnightly concerts in the church which are supported by professional classical scholars. The Gloucester Civic Trust uses the church and facilities of the Hall for their support and development of Gloucester History. In the hall there are a variety of weekly activities; choirs, coffee mornings, markets, slimming clubs and many more.
The worshipping congregation meet on Sundays and warmly welcome you to join with them.