286 (building)

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286 is located in Southampton
Shown within Southampton
Coordinates: 50°56′17″N 1°23′06″W / 50.93817°N 1.38512°W / 50.93817; -1.38512
OS grid reference SU4330315583
Location Swaythling
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Methodist and New Church
Churchmanship Evangelical
Former name(s) Swaythling Methodist Church
Founded 1932
Founder(s) Herbert Collins
Associated people J. Arthur Rank
Status Church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II listed
Designated 20 November 1997
Architect(s) Herbert Collins
Architectural type Central Hall
Style Neo-Georgian
Number of floors 2
Number of domes 1
Materials Red brick, Concrete, Slate, Copper
Circuit Southampton Methodist Circuit
District Southampton Methodist District
Division Pioneer Network
Minister(s) Rev David Hill (Swaythling Methodist Church)[1]
Senior pastor(s) Bev Webb (City Life), Paul Woodman (City Life)[2]

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[3] 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.[4] 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.[4] The roof of the main hall is shallowly domed and clad in copper, topped by a copper-clad cupola.[4]

The whole site was grade II listed on 20 November 1997.[4]


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.[5] The projector room is still present.[4]

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.

Both City Life and New Community are new churches and part of the Pioneer Network.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Contacting Us". Swaythling Methodist Church. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Church Team". City Life Church. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Finding the Church". Swaythling Methodist Church. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Swaythling Methodist Church including church hall, workshops and Manse". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Our History". Swaythling Methodist Church official website. Swaythling Methodist Church. Retrieved 8 September 2010.