Wellington Wesleyan Methodist chapel

Wellington Wesleyan Methodist chapel

Before the current Wellington Methodist chapel, Wellington had a succession of Wesleyan Methodist Chapels. The first (probably) was licensed  in April 1797), sold in 1836 and taken down by 1851.

The second was in Chapel Lane and had been built in 1820.

The third Wellington Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, at the corner of High Street and St. John Street, was opened on 1st April 1836 and seated 520 worshippers. In 1862 they amalgamated the Sunday School into the chapel, thereby increasing the capacity by 150 sittings (mostly free, for the poor), and built a new Sunday School. 

In its turn this new chapel was replaced in 1883 by a fourth new chapel built farther west along New Street. The 1836 chapel was retained by the Wesleyan Methodists and used as a Sunday school and lecture hall until the building was sold in 1916.

The chapel had a seating capacity for 900 worshippers and was built at a cost of £4000 for the site, the building and the conversion of the old chapel into a school. The chapel closed & was due to be demolished on 1 September 2003.

You can read more about Wellington Wesleyan Methodist chapels on Janice Cox’s Shropshire’s Non-Conformist chapels website here and here.

Grid ref: 1836 chapel SJ 653114

Grid ref: 1883 chapel SJ 652114

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  • WESLEYAN METHODIST MAGAZINE, vol. 59, 1836, p. 375.
    “WELLINGTON, Shropshire. On Good Friday morning, April the 1st. a beautiful and commodious chapel was opened for divine worship in this town, under the most auspicious circumstances, by the Rev. Theophilus Lessey … On the following Sunday the Rev. J. H. Bumby, of Birmingham, and Mr. J. Watson, of Darlaston, rendered their valuable assistance; and on the Wednesday, the Rev. Robert Newton and Mr. William Dawson addressed the crowded and eagerly attentive congregations. The chapel will accommodate nearly nine hundred person. The comfortable and ample provision made for the poor in this eligibly situated house of God, is not the least interesting feature in its internal arrangement …The quarter of an acre of land, forming the site, cost £200; and the expence of erection, including an external wall, and the preparations requisite for the introduction of gas, was £1300. The collections amounted to £203, a sums far exceeding our most sanguine expectationsl the old premises were sold for £320; and the amount of private subscriptions has already surpassed £300 …”.
    SHREWSBURY CHRONICLE, Friday 28 March 1851, page 8
    WESLEYAN CHAPEL. A good organ has been recently erected in the Wesleyan Chapel here, and on the occasion of its being opened sermons were preached by the Rev. Dr. Newton, of Liverpool, when the sum of £25 10s. was collected, in addition to a further sum of £50 subscribed amongst the congregation and friends attending this place of worship.”
    WELLINGTON JOURNAL, 29 April 1882, page 1.
    Builders wishful to TENDER for the various Works required in the Erection of a WESLEYAN CHAPEL, WELLINGTON, may view the Plans and Specifications at the Schoolroom, St. John’s Street, Wellington, Salop, from TUESDAY, April 25th to THURSDAY, May 11th, on which latter date Sealed Tenders are to be delivered to the REV. JOHN E. PATER, Mill Bank, Wellington. Bills of quantities may be obtained free of charge on application to Mr. HERBERT ISITT, Queen Anne Chambers, Bradford, Yorks.”
    EDDOWES’S JOURNAL, 19 July 1882, page 12.
    LAYING THE MEMORIAL STONES OF THE NEW WESLEYAN CHAPEL … took place yesterday. At three o’clock a large number had assembled, including the day and Sunday scholars … The Rev. W. R. Carlyon, Pastor, then read portions of scripture … after which the Rev. John Fletcher, Superintendent of the Madeley Circuit, offered up an appropriate prayer … the ceremony of laying the stones commenced by Mr. Peplow, of Shifnal, placing in the first stone a glass bottle containing several papers, the order of service, a programme of the proceedings, and some coins of the realm, a circuit plan, &c. A trowel was then presented by the Rev. J. E. Pater to Mrs. Groom, who laid the first stone, and placed upon it a cheque for £50. The second stone was laid by C. C. Walker, Esq. … Mrs. R. Groom who laid the next stone [there follows a further list of those who laid stones] … A first-class tea was partaken of in the Town Hall at five o’clock, and a public meeting was held in the old Wesleyan Chapel in the evening. During the day between £500 and £600 was contributed to the building fund of the new chapel.”
    An exceptionally lengthy account of the stone laying ceremony appeared in the WELLINGTON JOURNAL, 22 July 1882, page 6.
    WELLINGTON JOURNAL, 31 March 1883, page 5.
    On Good Friday, the new chapel which the Wesleyan Methodists of Wellington have erected was opened for Divine service … Nearly 100 yers have elapsed since the Wesleyan Methodists first established their cause in Wellington, their original meeting house being in Chapel Lane … The new building, the site of which is in New Street, about 100 yards from the old chapel, is set well back, and approached by a spacious concreted pathway, the worshippers having to pass through a handsome gateway, with pallisading, supplied by the Coalbrookdale Company. The chapel is in the Italian style of architecture. Decoration is entirely confined to the front elevation, which is executed in Grinshill stone and Donington pressed bricks. The chief feature is an exceeingly handsome open portico of three bays, standing at the top of a broad flight of steps. Above the portico is a large circular-headed window, surmounted by a massively-moulded stone pediment, supported by moulded and carved pilasters containing semi-circular niches. Red Terra-cotta baluster, panels, and other decorations are introduced to give harmony between the brick and stone. There is a well-screened vestibule, having a tessellated pavement, giving entrance to the interior, which comprises area and gallery on three sides, the size of the chapel being 62ft. 6in. long by 50ft. wide. Accommodation is provided for upwards of 900 worshippers, free sittings in great number being set apart in the gallery. Each pew is furnished with book-drawer, umbrella stand and every convenience … The prominent feature of the interior is the chancel, which occupies the end opposite the entrance, and is separated from the area by a wide spanning arch, under which is placed the pulpit, having at either side the seats for the choir. The back of the chancel is relieved by the introduction of a stained-glass window, and by a simple reredos and communion table underneath it, the ceiling of the chancel being vaulted and panelled. The organ chamber is placed on one side of the chancel, and on the other side two vestries … The ceiling of the chapel is most tastefully panelled and coved, and will admit of excellent decorative effect. A pleasant light is admitted into the sacred edifice through the ruby-stained margins of the windows, and abundant gaslight provided by ceiling and wall lights. The building is efficiently heated by hot water on the ground and gallery floors. The contractors for the masons’, bricklayers’, and joiners’ works have been Messrs. Paterson and Sons, of Wellington; for the plumbing, heating, and painting, Mr. G. H. York, of Wellington; and for the plastering, Messrs C. Howroyd and Sons, of Bradford. The whole work has been carried out from the plans and under the superintendence of Mr. Herbert Isitt, architect, of Bradford. In the vestibule is a handsome brass plate [containing the names of all those who laid the memorial stones on 8 July1 1882].
    For the opening ceremony, the friends had secured the services of two of the most able and distinguished men in the connexion – the Rev. George Osborn, D. D., ex-President of the Conference, and the Rev. C. Garrett, President of the Conference … At the close of the service a collection was made, the handsome sum of £105 being contributed.”

    By Janice Cox (16/12/2020)

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