About us

Wesley Hall has been serving the communities of Spinney Hills and Highfields since 1903.   The community centre is situated in the old Wesley Hall Methodist Church Sunday School buildings.  Interestingly, the number of Sunday School students registered and using the buildings in 1903 are stated in the records as being 723.

The number of people who are in contact with us every year is generally around 750, unless we have a Polling Station for an election, in which case around 2,500 people can come in to vote in one day!

Why is Wesley Hall the most frequented Poling Station in Leicester?  It is because so many of the local residents have used it in so many different ways.  We have ‘return attendees’ when they bring their children to our Pre School and remind us that they too used to attend the Pre School 20 years before.  Or, volunteers will tell us they used to come to our playschemes.

We have many visitors who recall attending Wesley Hall for an event or celebration, these people sometimes return to us as professionals working in other areas of the city.

When we run Family Fun Days we have very high attendances, over 600 at the last one.  Our Centennial in 2002 attracted the magic 720 visitors.

What is the attraction?  The building consists of a large Main Hall that can accommodate 100 people seated and 200 standing.  We have a large Pre School with an adjoining playground for the children and a second hall under the church that we are able to use during out of church hours.

We have a beautiful Function Room that boasts enormous Art Nouveau bow, stained glass windows.  These fantastic creations of generosity and light flood the room with Macintosh style roses and countless pieces of lead.  The windows overlook the tightly knit terraces of our neighbourhoods and grace the locality with a late Victorian grandeur demonstrative of the rapidly expanding city of its time.

The windows were refurbished, along with the Front Façade, in 2009 when everything rotten or decayed was taken back to its original frame and repaired or replaced with the same materials – millstone grit for the stone work and red pine for the woodwork. Local Master Craftsmen exercised their skills and devotion to do the work (their firms are noted in our acknowledgement’s page).

Every single piece of glass was taken out and replaced with new lead.  The old metal casements were repaired and re-hung and metal decorations brought back to life.

We won the Leicester Civic Society award 2009 for the Best Restoration of an Historical Building.  Perhaps the tipping point for this award was the evident interest and use of the buildings by local residents, some of whom embroidered a beautiful tapestry in honour of the windows.

The Function Room is used by people of all ages to further their learning aspirations

On the second floor we have six rooms where our Day Centre for People with Mental Health Difficulties gain greater confidence, skills and relaxation to manage their everyday lives.  These rooms overlook roofs of houses and great distances can be seen from them, across the city into Leicestershire and Bradgate Park.

Standing on the top of Hartington Road hill the community centre was known as the ‘Beacon on the Hill’.  This is still the case and in so many different ways.  It heralds a place of rest, safety, rejuvenation and meeting.  We care for our buildings in the best way we can and believe that a clean environment shows our commitment as a staff team to the complete experience of the visitor.

Not only does light flood into the Function Room, it floods out into the street when the lights are on inside.  The visitor walks straight from the pavement into the building.  We are one step away from the communities we serve.  This means that anyone at all can feel able to walk or wheel easily in to be greeted by a busy reception.  The original terrazzo marbled floor lifts our feet as we enter, it shines, shows its age and reminds us of the countless thousands of visitors before.

The church members changed the use of the old Sunday School buildings into community use in 1976.  It is a secular meeting place where people of all backgrounds and origins find each other on an equal footing.  There are no religious activities in the community buildings  – this is left for the church building adjacent on the corner of Mere and Hartington Roads, which is an active place of Christian worship.

We changed the name of the centre from Wesley Hall Community Project to Wesley Hall Community Centre in 2003.  We have recently re-invented our centre and re-named it again as Active Wesley.  This is because we want to establish the centre as a place more focussed in active learning both physical and mental.

The community centre offers a wide range of services, which you can read about elsewhere on this web site.  The one comment we would make about our centre is this; ‘There should be one in every community’.

The centre was known as Wesley Hall Community Project.  The name of the Centre was then changed in 2004 to Wesley Hall Community Centre.  In 2012 the centre name changed again to Active Wesley Hall.  This was done to reflect the new emphasis at the centre towards more physical activities.

Find out more about Arthur Wakerley, the architect of the buildings.

The restoration offered us the opportunity of ‘getting up close’ to our five Green Men. Active Wesley hall Roof 

The view North West over to Bradgate Park