Spalding Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Lincolnshire

The imposing front
Photo: D Secker
The schoolrooms adjoining the chapel
Photo: D Secker

During the closing years of the eighteenth century, Methodists were holding meetings in a house in Spalding. The first chapel, built in 1796, was located at the end of the Hole-in-the-Wall passage, just off the Market Place.

A second chapel, replacing the above, opened in 1827 on Broad Street. This seated around 380. In 1861, a Sunday school building was erected alongside the chapel.

Upheaval as a result of the Wesleyan Reform movement, circa 1850, saw large numbers seceding – they opened their own chapel (United Methodist Free) in 1857.

Recovery from those troubled times was aided by an increasing membership leading to the building of the third (present) chapel. Stones were laid in the July of 1886, the inauguration taking place in March the following year. The opening was performed by the Rev Dr Robert Newton Young, President of the Wesleyan Conference.

Designed by F Boreham of London, this grand building, of red brick with Ancaster stone dressings, was constructed by John Holmes of Wainfleet. The style was described as “Gothic, freely treated”. Seating was provided for up to 657.

Also constructed that year, on the site of the former school, was a new suite of schoolrooms.

Spalding became the administrative centre of a new circuit established in 1813. Previously, itinerant ministers had attended from the Horncastle circuit. The relevant circuits from that time have been Spalding Wesleyan; Spalding Methodist post union (actually from 1939); and South Holland Methodist from circa 2000.

Now a Grade II listed building, Spalding’s Methodist church (the only one left in town) remains open. In 2022 it had a membership of 95.

Sources include
Spalding Guardian 8th March 1887
Methodist Church Buildings: Statistical Returns 1940
A Faithful Witness (Centenary booklet) Editor: Leveritt N 1987

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