Short History of Methodism in Hendon

In the early 19th century (about the time of the Battle of Waterloo, 1815) the son of a farmer in Dorset came up to London by stage coach to find work.

He had become a Christian a few years earlier and started attending a small Methodist Chapel in Twickenham. He worked as a gardener and later obtained the job of gardener to the vicar of Hendon and moved here with his wife in 1820. His name was Henry Burden.

He started to preach in the open air and held bible study and prayer meetings in his own small home in Brent Street. Increasing numbers led to the building of a small chapel at the 
Bottom of Egerton Gardens (the site of the present Jewish Marriage Counselling Centre) and in 1828, it was recognised as a Wesleyan Methodist place of worship. He later had a small cottage built next to the chapel where he lived for the rest of his life. The work continued to grow and over 60 years later, in 1891, a typical non-conformist chapel was built on the present site. By then, Henry Burden had died 2 years earlier at the ripe old age of 96. In 1910 an extension to the chapel was built to accommodate the growing Sunday School. The extension was eventually called the Henry Burden Hall (or ‘institute’).
In 1936, the chapel was demolished and replaced by a new one built in ‘Art Deco’ style and opened in 1937. After World War II, it continued to serve the local 
community until falling membership numbers led to the sale of the ‘Institute’ in 1982, thus changing its internal shape from ‘long’ to ‘wide’.

Church BuildingLike many other Christian denominations, membership continues to decline slowly despite faithful and devoted service from its ministers and members. Nevertheless, in recent years, we have been greatly encouraged by increasing numbers of worshippers from various parts of the world, in particular Africa, who have shown loving service in a number of church offices.
As a result hope has grown that our Christian witness and service in Hendon will result in continued growth in numbers and the commitment of the whole church to the work of the Lord.