Built in 1883, Oatlands Methodist Church was situated on the corner of Mount Street and Gladstone Street. The church served the ever-growing resident population of the Oatlands community.
In 1968, Oatlands Pre-school began renting the rooms at the rear of the church hall providing a playgroup for children aged 2½ to 4 years. The Methodist churchgoers held their last ever service on 16th July 2006, the congregation were moving on to newer built, more modern churches and so the Oatlands Church premises were deconsecrated. Two years later in 2008, the church was put up for sale.
Oatlands Pre-school were determined to try and buy the premises, not only to protect and secure the future of the well-established, Ofsted registered Pre-school for generations to come, but also to rejuvenate the building, breathing new life into it by establishing it as a community hub and user-friendly meeting place at the heart of the Oatlands community.
After much negotiation, some extraordinary fundraising efforts and a loan from the Charity Bank, enough money was raised for a bid to be submitted for the purchase of the premises. In January 2011, the dream of buying the building became a reality when the governing committee successfully negotiated the freehold purchase of the site. The building came under new ownership – it was to be the start of a whole new era for the iconic old building.
Our vision for the future of the Community Centre
Run by the community, for the community, Oatlands Community Centre presently operates under the umbrella of Oatlands Pre-school and, since it was first established in 2011, it has been run by volunteers. Work was commissioned to improve the hall adding new toilet facilities, including the provision of disabled toilets, a new kitchen, a new floor, disabled access and damp proofing. In summer 2017, with recent grant support from Stronger Communities, the charity trustees began a 6 week ‘rejuvenation’ project. The project delivered a separate toilet block, extended outdoor play area and new entrance for the Pre-school. For the Community Centre, this project was a milestone achievement. By achieving independent access to the Community Centre, the project has breathed new life into the iconic building offering the chance to establish it as a vibrant, thriving hub for local people. The Centre can now be hired on a daily basis and volunteers who run it would like to see an array of initiatives delivered in the Community Centre which would meet the needs of the Oatlands community residents who have supported it, fundraised for it and donated towards it.
Hiring the Community Centre
The Community Centre is fully accessible and insured and, as well as being set right in the heart of Oatlands, it is also located very close to local transport links. The Community Centre is open to both individuals, clubs and organisations as a venue for hire. The venue offers a main hall, kitchen facilities with crockery/cutlery, tables and chairs. Bookings can be made online via the website
A number of groups run activities from the Community Centre which includes a group of former Methodist churchgoers who run a monthly coffee morning, ‘Little Oats’ toddler group who meet every Wednesday morning during term-time, ;Rhythm Camp Out of School Club’ which runs during the school holidays and ‘Weight Watchers’. For contact information for each group, visit our Facebook page. The venue can also be hired for parties, social gatherings and celebratory events.
The Community Centre is run by volunteers from our community, therefore if you have any suggestions for activities/classes we could run, or if you would like to get more involved, we would love to hear from you. In addition, any offer of skills/time/expertise to help us is always warmly welcomed.