Yarmouth, St. James Street Wesleyan Methodist chapel PO41 0NU

Yarmouth, St. James Street Wesleyan Methodist chapel
Philip Thornborow, 2022
Yarmouth, St. James Street Wesleyan Methodist

The first taste of Methodism received in the western part of the Isle of Wight occurred on the weekend of 11-12 August 1787 when the ship carrying Thomas Coke and John Wesley to the Channel Islands had to take shelter in Yarmouth. Both men took the opportunity to preach.

It was another thirty years before the first resident Methodist arrived in Yarmouth, Mrs Mary Coward who had been associated with the New Room in Bristol. With such a pedigree it is not surprising that she started a prayer meeting in the town. She influenced a young man, George Arnold, who saw the light in 1818 and was at hand when the Wesleyan Methodists decided to evangelise Yarmouth in 1822. His uncle gave the land on which the current chapel stands, and it opened for worship on 22nd June 1824

Estimated attendance on Sunday 30 March 1851 was reported by William Warder, Society Steward, as being morning 90, afternoon 40, evening 56. .

The current building was completed in 1881, and is a listed building. The original chapel seated 100, but the renovation or new build (the evidence varies) increased that to 150. These figures are in keeping with the size of the settlement.

The congregation moved into St. James, the parish church, in 1990 and constitute a shared congregation. The former Methodist building is now in residential use.


Dyson, John B. Methodism in the Isle of Wight: its origin and progress down to the present times.  Ventnor: George M. Burt, 1865. viii, 344 pp.

The National Archives HO 129/99/129

1940 Accommodation Returns

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