The foundation stone for Roborough Methodist Church was laid in January 1960 and the present church building was officially opened in December 1960 but the story of the Methodist presence in Roborough started some 11 years earlier in 1949.

Mr George Tamblin and his wife Gwen had moved to Tavistock Road in the village of Roborough.  They attended Crownhill Methodist Church and its Sunday School but soon found that there were children in the Roborough area who wished to attend and too many to take in the one car.  With the encouragement of Rev W Harold Ford a Sunday School was started in the Tamblin’s home and the first class was held on 4th March 1949.   The Sunday School was a great success and outgrew the converted front room and Anniversaries had to be held in the village’s Recreation Hall.  A youth club was held on Wednesday nights.

The Methodist society at Roborough grew with weekly fellowship meetings and it was decided that it was strong enough to have its own Sunday services held in the front room of the house in Tavistock Road.  The first Sunday Evening Service was held on 7th January 1951 when the opening hymn was “O for a thousand tongues to sing”.  The new Roborough Methodist Church was formed.

Breaking Turf - March 1959The raising of funds began to build a church at Roborough but other external resources were required. Ebrington Street Methodist Church, which had been opened in 1897, was destroyed by a fire in 1937, with the congregation moving to Ebenezer Methodist Church which in turn became Plymouth Central Hall.  It was decided not to rebuild in Ebrington Street and it was decided to use the capital monies from this and  the War Damage Commission to build 2 new churches at Whitleigh and Roborough.  The problem of finding a suitable site was solved by the unexpected and generous gift of land by Lord Roborough.

Laying of the Foundation Stone by Mr George Tamblin - 27 January 1960So began the building of the church.   The foundation stone was laid on Wednesday 27th January 1960 by Mr George Tamblin with the ceremony commencing at 3 pm.  The first hymn of the ceremony was again “O for a thousand tongues to sing”.   Members had gathered at 8 Tavistock Road and processed to the site. The service was conducted by Rev Clifford Lever, Superintendent Minister of the Plymouth King Street Circuit in which Roborough Methodist Church, at that time, belonged.  The scriptures were read by Mr H R Lawry, Church Treasurer.  Mr Victor C L Saunders, ARIBA, the architect presented a trowel and on behalf of the building contractors, Messrs J W Spencer Ltd, a mallet.  The minister of the church was Rev Arthur Revell.

The church was officially opened on Thursday 15th December 1960 at 3 pm by Mrs G G Pooley, the wife of Mr Pooley who had been the Senior Circuit Steward of the Plymouth King Street Circuit. The sermon of the opening service was preached by Rev W Harold Ford the first minister at Roborough.

There was very little change to the fabric of the building for the first twenty five years and then in 1982 the dais at the front of the church was reduced in size and the communion rail re-sited so that the seating capacity of the church could be increased. Later the pulpit was removed. However the major changes began after the turn of the century. During the period between 2004 and 2009 a new organ was purchased, a new kitchen installed, a toilet for the disabled created along with access for the disabled to the hall, replacement double glazing in the worship area and hall and an overhead projector to aid worship. A replacement communion table was obtained from Tamerton Methodist Church following its closure in 2008. Further changes have taken place as the church looks to expand its outreach amongst the local community. The pews have been removed and replaced with stackable seating which permits greater use of the worship area. The entrance doors have been replaced by glazed units making a more visible and welcoming entrance. The heating has been modified so that the worship area can be heated during the week.

The membership of the church remained fairly steady for many years but in recent years has grown. Members who joined the church following the closures of Tamerton Methodist Church and Crownhill Baptist Church have enhanced the fellowship. There is now coffee and tea after the morning service, a weekly fellowship meeting and monthly bible study. The membership has steadily increased in recent years.

The Sunday School, as in many churches, is no more but in 1972 a Playgroup was started using the hall. It is still going strong having evolved into a pre-school. Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and the Senior Section of the Girl Guide movement have been active throughout and parade services are regularly held during term time. Some of the activities have outgrown the hall and are now held in the village Recreation Hall echoing the early days of the church.