Wolstanton, Staffordshire, St. John's Church

Wolstanton, St. John's Church
Building News, 1896

The Wesleyan presence in Wolstanton is said to go back to 1806. The first chapel was built in 1813 or 1814 in Wedgwood Street and by 1829 had 59 members. In 1851 it seated 220 and attendance on 30 March of that year was reported as 51 in the morning and 86 in the evening. A new chapel in High Street opened in 1867, with Sunday School buildings following soon after. A rapid increase in the population of Wolstanton was reflected in membership of the chapel, which reached 170 in 1894 and it became necessary to extend or rebuild. In 1894 the decision was taken to demolish the chapel and rebuild on the same site. A competition was held, and the selected design was by A.R. Wood, a prominent and prolific architect in the Potteries towns. The new chapel was opened in 1895, and this illustration published soon afterwards.

As can be seen it was is a large brick structure in Perpendicular style, with a nave, transepts, and a square tower. It was described as “an example of the application of Late Gothic for modern uses, aiming at a broad treatment. It is built of red bricks with red stone dressings and tracery, the roofs being covered with Bangor slating, and the windows are filled with leaded lights.” The nave was 85 feet long and 30 feet wide. The cost was £3,600. The organ, originally built in 1896, cost a further £400.

Built to seat 750, by the time of the 1940 returns a new church hall provided fifteen ancillary rooms.

A modern church replaced this one in 1966

Grid Ref: SJ854482

Reference:

‘Newcastle-under-Lyme: Roman Catholicism and Protestant Nonconformity’, in A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 8, ed. J G Jenkins (London, 1963), pp. 54-64. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/staffs/vol8/pp54-64 [accessed 18 February 2021].

The Building News Vol.70 , 1896 p525

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

“Absolom Reade Wood 1851-1922” Watlands Park Residents Association https://watlandsparkhistoryproject.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/absalom-reade-wood/ [accessed 18 February 2021]

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