Goodbye Melbecks… Hello High Street

“For over 100 years the preaching hall/ gospel hall at Melbecks, Kirkby Stephen has been used as a meeting place for evangelical Christians. This is no longer the case. “

If this sentence stood alone it would be tragic, but the full story is much more joyful. The original hall was basically 2 cottages near the River Eden, generously gifted to the church for Christian meetings. Records show that the buildings had been used for this purpose from at least 1876 to 2019, but things have now changed.

Kirkby Stephen Evangelical church has now sold that building and moved to the High Street, a bigger building with a more visible presence in the community.


The building they have purchased, once a congregational church has now been modernised, and includes lift access to the first floor. The downstairs includes a large multi-functional room with a large kitchen and upstairs is an area for services or Christian gatherings.


The tale of this purchase, involving our sister organisation Church Growth Trust, is remarkable, and justice could not be done to this story in a few short words, but God’s hand of provision has been seen and acknowledged by the fellowship. There has been vision, faith, generosity, sacrifice and a lot of hard work along the way. There is much to be thankful for.

On 9th November the building filled with people and officially commissioned for use, with times of thanksgiving and praise and lots of food. There was community face painting and balloons from Small Paul in the morning and Lord Curry shared some thoughts in the afternoon on Christian influence. Andy Gibson from Regents, Newcastle spoke in the evening, challenging the church to be a beacon of light in the community. Time was spent reflecting on God’s goodness, past and present, and songs of praise and thanksgiving were sung. It was a joyful day.

As the church reflected on God’s goodness in the past and present, we were able to look with confidence to the future knowing that God has provided, God is providing, and God will continue to provide. Pray for Kirkby Stephen Evangelical church as they continue to serve Christ, that many more will be reached with the good news of Jesus as the Church brings good news in His name.

Andy Dykes

Partnership Regional Co-ordinator (North West)

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