This chapel was opened on 9th November, 1864 by the Rev. W.L. Thornton, President of Conference. It replaced two previous Wesleyan chapels in the village (occupied 1841-1846 and 1846-1864). Until then, Blackheath Wesleyans had attended George Street, Greenwich. The architect of the new chapel was James Wilson, and the total cost was £8,000. Once paid for, it was intended to erect a Minister’s house on the east side, and Schools to the rear. The chapel was thought to seat 969 in 1873, but by 1940 it was thought 830 was the capacity.
With the opening of this chapel, the Wesleyan Methodist Conference stationed Rev G.S. Rowe in Blackheath, the first minister to live in the village.
There were two surveys of religious observance in London. On 24 October 1886 it was reported that the morning attendance at The Avenue was 144, with 251 attending in the evening. In 1904 the pattern was reversed with a morning congregation of 251 (39 men, 88 women and 144 children). In the veneing 133 attended (45 men, 70 women 18 children).
References: The Tenth annual report of the Wesleyan Chapel Committee, 1864 pp 101-103
The Religious Census of London. London: Hodder and Stoghton, 1888 p 45
The Religious Life of London. London: Hodder and Stoghton, 1904 p 237