Wymeswold Wesleyan Methodist chapel

Wymeswold Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
Philip Thornborow, 2019
Wymeswold Wesleyan Methodist, Leicestershire
Philip Thornborow, 2019
Wymeswold Wesleyan Methodist: the 1801 chapel and later Schoolroom
Philip Thornborow, 2019

There is evidence that Methodism entered the village in the 1770s [1]

First chapel built 1801. It was enlarged and improved in 1827 [2].

There is a membership return from 1810 of 47, and the return of religious houses in 1829 noted 100 Wesleyan Methodists. [3]

The present chapel was built in 1845, at a cost of £500; it could accommodate 200 free sittings.[4] The membership at this point was 117. The old chapel continued to be used as Schoolroom until sold as a private dwelling. Both buildings are now listed Grade II.

The 1851 religious census return by Joseph Sheppard (the Steward, and a farmer) recorded 125 worshippers present at a morning service, and another 130 in the evening. 90 children were present at the Sunday School.[5] Soon after, affected by the WMA split, membership fell from 117 in 1846 to 55 in 1853. [6] It stayed around that level for the next hundred years.

The chapel was thought capable of holding 321 people in 1873, 140 in 1940, and 184 in 1970.

In more recent years the chapel has been reordered and refurbished, and continues in use (in an informal partnership with the parish church next door) with a current membership of 15.

Grid reference SK603234

Sources

[1] Richardson, S.Y. Bright Hope: Methodism in Loughborough 1. Heritage vol 7, no.4 August 2006 p 21

[2] Richardson, S.Y. Methodism in Wymeswold:the first hundred years. Loughborough: Teamprint, 1985 p. 5

[3] 1829 Return of Religious Houses, QS 95/2/1/62.

[4] White, Hist. Gaz. & Dir. Leics. (Sheffield, 1846) p. 465.

[5] TNA, HO 129/415/69.

[6] Richardson, S.Y. Bright Hope: Methodism in Loughborough 5. Heritage vol 9, no.1 February 2008, p. 49

Returns of accommodation … 1873. London: Wesleyan Conference Office, 1875

Statistical returns … as at July 1st 1940. Manchester: Methodist Church, Department of Chapel Affairs, 1947

Statistical returns 1970. Manchester: Methodist Church, Department of Chapel Affairs, 1972

 

 

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