After visiting the Banqueting Hall and the Jewel Tower I was walking around Westminster when the impressive looking Methodist Central Hall caught my eye. Built to mark the centenary of John Wesley’s death in 1905 (the founder of Methodism) I decided to pop inside and ask if I could take some photos of the interior. Straightaway I was told that if I had about twenty minutes to spare I could have my own, free tour of the building.
The tour was very informative, allowing me to learn a bit about the history of the building, see the concert hall venue and the chapel as well as some of the other rooms on the higher floors. All along the original intention of the Hall was to be used for conferences and other events, not just as a church, and that is still its remit today.
One fact I found particularly interesting was that the Hall was the site of the first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946. Here the initial members of the Security Council and the first UN Secretary General were elected. The UN donated a copy of the first Minute Book which is on display in the Hall.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s father, William, was Musical Director at the Hall, and an organist who played in the first public performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, on this impressive grand church organ which has 4,731 pipes.
The impressive domed ceiling of the Great Hall is apparently the second largest of its type in the world and is self-supporting, just like the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The building is really interesting and it was a lucky bonus that I was able to go in and be shown around. You can find more of my photos here.