Whitchurch Wesleyan Methodist chapel

Whitchurch Wesleyan Methodist chapel

The former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, in St. Mary’s Street, Whitchurch was built in 1809-10 at a cost of £1,912, and opened on the 8th July 1810. It was replaced by a new, gothic chapel erected in St. John’s Street in 1879. The original building was used as Whitchurch’s main post office for a while, but by 2002 was used as  Whitchurch Heritage Centre which it still is in 2020.

The replacement St. John’s Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Whitchurch  was dedicated at the opening services on 24th April 1879. This chapel has a nave and transept, and a clock tower with a spire 100 ft. high. It is still in use as Whitchurch Methodist chapel in 2020.

You can read more information and see pictures of both chapels on Janice Cox’s Shropshire’s Non-Conformist chapels website here and here.

Grid ref: 1809 chapel  SJ 542416

Grid ref: 1879 chapel SJ 544417.

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  • OSWESTRY ADVERTISER, 31 October 1877, page 7.
    The foundation stones of the new Wesleyan Chapel in St. John’s Street, were laid on Thursday, Oct. 25. The question of building a new place of worship has been a long mooted one … it was ultimately decided to build a new chapel. The architect engaged is Mr. Rogers, of Prees … the contract is let to Mr. Stringer, Sandbach, for £4,200, but the total cost is expected to amount to £5,000. The style of the church will be Gothic of the latter part of the 13th century. The building will be cruciform in plan and consist of a nave 65 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 36 feet high … There will be a side aisle 56 feet long and nine feet wide; a tower fourteen feet square and spire of 100 feet high; two transepts each 16 feet long, and 17 feet wide; an organ chamber and a porch. In continuation of the nave and of the same width will be a circular ended apse in which are placed the choir stalls, communion table, &c. A gallery, capable of accommodating about eighty children, will be made in one of the transepts. There will also be a class room, about fourteen feet square, and a vestry of a similar size, provided with heating apparatuses. The walling, comprising the tower and spire, is to be built of Grinshill stone in irregular courses, and lined internally with Shelvoke stone in finely tooled narrow courses. The front gable will be pierced by a four light tracery window, ten feet by twenty feet, and the aisles are to be lighted by windows of similar design, divided into lights … A little after half-past two on Thursday afternoon Sir Francis Lycett and othes performed the ceremony of laying the stones, four in number … the Rev. J. Waterhouse, superintendent of the circuit, announced that the bottle to be placed among the stones contained the Watchman, The Methodist Recorder, the Whitchurch Herald, the Recorder, Wesleyan Methodist, the circuit plan, names of the trustees, and the names of the gentlemen who laid the stones … The Superintendent announced that Sir Francis Lycett had presented a cheque for £100 … Mr. ROBERT READ, Liverpool, was then called upon to lay the second stone … he had much pleasure in contributing the sum of £50 towards the good work. The Rev. J. D. TETLEY in the unavoidable absence of Mr. Solomon Jevons was called upon to lay the next stone … [gave] a cheque for £50 … the next and last stone was laid by Mrs. Beckett. On this were placed a number of purses, being the offerings of different ladies, and containing sums varying from £3 to £10. The collections on the stone amounted to £133, and the total amount realized at this portion of the proceedings was £465 13s.”
    The WELLINGTON JOURNAL, 3 November 1877, page 5, contains a long account of the stone laying ceremony.
    SHREWSBURY CHRONICLE, 24 May 1878, page 8.
    On Wednesday, the grand bazaar … was opened by F. Farish, Esq., mayor of Chester, in the Assembly Room, New Town Hall, Whitchurch … .”
    EDDOWES’S JOURNAL, 30 April 1879, page 9.
    The new Wesleyan Chapel … was opened for public worship on Thursday. At three o’clock Rev. W. Burt Pope, D. D., ex-president of the Wesleyan Conference, preached … At seven o’clock the building was again crowded. Every pew was taken to its utmost, and many had to be content with standing in the aisles … The preacher was Dr. Morley Punshon … The collections for the day amounted to the large sum of £181 9s. 11d., £110 14s. 6d. being received at the evening service. The cost of the chapel is £5,300 of which sum all had been raised, prior to the opening services, but £750 … .”

    By Janice Cox (16/12/2020)

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