Stokeham, Notts

Missionary meetings were held in Stokeham every June, having started after the visit of a Dr John Hannah, a celebrated Lincoln Methodist, in 1824.

John Otter, a local farmer, was also a poet and in 1857 published a book of his poems called ‘Poetical Musings’. This contains Otter’s reflections on all sorts of missionary activity across the world, and especially on missionaries’ deaths. One of the poems is a reflection on the death in Fiji of Nottinghamshire missionary John Hunt – the gravestones of his wife and daughter are at Newton on Trent

An eyewitness account of one of the Stokeham meetings is provided in the ‘Wesleyan Missionary Notices’ of 1872

……in 1851, I was at a village called Stokeham, where good old John Otter lived. I remember going to the Anniversary at that hamlet which contained, I think, five houses and a church, and what did we see? From end to end, directly we got near the place, there were – not cabs, nothing half so grand – but carts, gigs, phaetons, waggons and all sorts of things except wheelbarrows upon which people could be brought. Then when you got to Mr Otter’s place you found him beaming, all in his element. There was a large tent erected, and there I had the honour of shaking hands with the widow, just returned, of the late Rev John Hunt. There was tea in the tent, and a capital meeting in a great barn, and they made such a fuss and disturbance that they got people to come from…twenty miles around.’

The Wesleyan Missionary Notices recorded that the 1851 meeting raised £70 for foreign missionary work, about £9,500 today. John Otter of Stokeham was recorded in the 1851 Census as a farmer of 165 acres.

The chapel is no longer in use.


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