Gedney Dyke Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Lincolnshire

Gedney Dyke is a hamlet in the parish of Gedney. The Wesleyan chapel here figured in a Victorian scandal concerning the burial of a child. It opened on Main Street in 1800 but apparently not acquired by the Wesleyans until 1815.

In 1844 they purchased a plot on Roman Bank for burials, this in response to the controversial decision in 1839 of Thomas Escott, vicar of Gedney, in refusing to bury a child (of dissenting parents) who had been baptised by an itinerant preacher in the Gedney Dyke chapel. His actions were challenged in protracted hearings in the ecclesiastical courts where he lost his case and was suspended from duties for three months by the Privy Council. The judgement was to the effect that the child had been baptised according to the prescribed rite and in the name of The Trinity. The outcome was a triumph for nonconformity. Many in the national hierarchy of the Wesleyan movement attended these court proceedings. The Free Methodist chapel was built adjacent to the burial ground in 1866 by reformers who seceded from the local Wesleyan Society.

The chapel closed c.1967. There is a residence known as Chapel House although it is dated 1876. Down the road the old burial ground is now part of private premises which includes the extant (converted) United Free Methodist chapel (closed 1973).


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