Dunstable Primitive Methodist Chapel

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Photo:Dunstable Primitive Methodist Chapel

Dunstable Primitive Methodist Chapel

Keith Guyler 1980

Bedfordshire

By Tim Banks

A registration for worship was made in Dunstable for Primitive Methodist worship on 18 September 1852 by Richard Tearle of Houghton Regis, plait dealer (trustee) and a second registration made on 3 January 1861 by Edwin Johnson of Dunstable, hat manufacturer (attendant). When the original chapel proved inadequate, a new one was constructed in Victoria Street and opened on 30 October 1862.

 

This new chapel was registered for worship on 28 March 1863 by Thomas Huckle of Luton, bonnet manufacturer (trustee). Registration for marriages was then made on 13 August 1866. The Dunstable chapel was originally in the Luton PM Circuit, until 1866 when a new Dunstable PM Circuit was formed.

 

Dunstable PM offered a range of activities including; Sunday School, Bible Classes, Band of Hope, a Choir, Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Life Brigade

 

One notable person from Dunstable PM chapel was Rev Joseph Odell who was President of Conference in 1900 and others from the church also entered the ministry.

 

After Methodist Union, Dunstable PM chapel became Victoria Street Methodist Church until it closed in October 1965 and registration cancelled on 16 November of the same year. The premises were sold and are now Dunstable Polish Catholic Church.

 

Sources and References

Bedfordshire Chapels and Meeting Houses: Official Registration 1672-1901 Volume 75 Bedfordshire Historical Record Society – Edited by Edwin Welch

The Dunstable Methodist Circuit One hundred and fifty years of witness 1843-1993 – Colin Bourne

This page was added by Tim Banks on 26/08/2014.
Comments about this page

The Primitive Methodist magazine for May 1853 (pp.306-307) contains an extended account by Henry Sharman of the opening of the 1852 Primitive Methodist chapel in Dunstable, which he describes as "a town noted fo the manufacture of straw and fancy bonnets which employs a great number of young women from distant parts of this and adjoining counties."

The society had been established some 18 months previously and the foundation stone for the new chapel was laid on June 7th 1852 by W Willis of Luton. Rev Harcourt preached at the evening service.

The chapel was 30' x 25 and 18' high, built of brick with a slate roof and cost £260 of which £75 had been raised.

It opened on September 12th 1852. Preachers over the opening months included Rev J Smith, Rev J Lance, Rev T Newsome (London), Rev Shovelton (Luton Wesleyan) Rev J Harcourt (Luton Baptist), Rev T Hobson (Bath), Rev Henry Higginson (Ramsor) and Miss MC Buck of Leicester. Many of the these were the same people who preached at the opening of Luton chapel nearby. 

Noted donors included John Baban(?), R Tearle (Houghton Regis), H Bandreth (Houghton Moss) and J Burr.

They had opened a Sunday school with about 30 children.

By Christopher Hill
On 18/02/2017

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