|OS grid reference||SU4330315583|
|Denomination||Methodist and New Church|
|Former name(s)||Swaythling Methodist Church|
|Associated people||J. Arthur Rank|
|Heritage designation||Grade II listed|
|Designated||20 November 1997|
|Architectural type||Central Hall|
|Number of floors||2|
|Number of domes||1|
|Materials||Red brick, Concrete, Slate, Copper|
|Circuit||Southampton Methodist Circuit|
|District||Southampton Methodist District|
|Minister(s)||Rev David Hill (Swaythling Methodist Church)|
|Senior pastor(s)||Bev Webb (City Life), Paul Woodman (City Life)|
286, formerly Swaythling Methodist Church, is a grade II listed church building in Swaythling, Southampton. The building hosts, and is managed by, a partnership of three local churches: Swaythling Methodist Church itself, City Life Church, and an offshoot of New Community Church called Flower of Justice. The building is owned by Swaythling Methodist Church but managed jointly by all three congregations as an informal partnership.
The building includes a number of halls and smaller rooms in addition to the main auditorium, as well as a manse and some workshops. Designed by Herbert Collins in a neo-Georgian style and built in 1932, the main auditorium is octagonal with a balcony over the entrance porch; the balcony is accessible via two stair towers on the north face. Attached to the south side is a wing containing other halls and rooms. Separate buildings on the west of the site contain some workshops and the manse. The roof of the main hall is shallowly domed and clad in copper, topped by a copper-clad cupola.
Swaythling Methodist Church was established by architect Herbert Collins following his construction of many houses in the surrounding area, with the remit "I have built the houses, now build a place for the people to go". The buildings were constructed in partnership with J. Arthur Rank with full cinema facilities. The projector room is still present.
City Life Church began in the 1970s as a youth group which broke away from nearby Swaythling Baptist Church. The fellowship has adopted several names during its history, changing from City Gate to City Life in 2000, and is part of the national Pioneer Network. The church occupies the main auditorium on Sunday mornings.
New Community Church's origins are also in the 1970s; the church formed from a group of students at the University of Southampton. The main body of the church meets at Central Hall in Southampton City Centre, which the church owns, but a small group called Flower of Justice, which has a focus on the Flowers Estate in Swaythling and Bassett Green, meets at 286.
- "Contacting Us". Swaythling Methodist Church. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "The Church Team". City Life Church. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "Finding the Church". Swaythling Methodist Church. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "Swaythling Methodist Church including church hall, workshops and Manse". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- "Our History". Swaythling Methodist Church official website. Swaythling Methodist Church. Retrieved 8 September 2010.