Earlstown Primitive Methodist Church, Leigh Street

Photo:John Roberts was PM Minister at Earlestown 1910-15. Until recently it was a pet shop and aquarium, and is now for sale (Oct 2013)

John Roberts was PM Minister at Earlestown 1910-15. Until recently it was a pet shop and aquarium, and is now for sale (Oct 2013)

By Alan Nixon

Primitive Methodism  was introduced into Earlestown by John Clarke who had been transferred, along with others, to the Viaduct Works from Salford. On arriving in the town in October 1853 he found many zealous and enthusiastic friends and decided to hold Camp Meetings in the open-air.

A Society was formed and as it grew they moved to another house in Bridge Street which had been formed from the old Workhouse, but the room quickly became too small to accommodate the number of worshippers and it was decided to ask the Lord of the Manor to lease a plot of land on which to build a little Chapel.

The request was turned down flat, but, undaunted, a deputation was appointed to see Lord Newton at Lyme Park, Disley who, after much pleading, granted a piece of land in Leigh Street, on condition that it was designed as two cottages with a large room over the lower rooms.

The offer was gladly accepted and the members quickly set to work. Joseph Johnson drew the plans, other members with pick and spade dug the foundations and a number of wagon makers from the Viaduct Works did most of the woodwork. The building was duly opened in 1863.

After a few years had elapsed since the 'Prims' became the happy possessors of a meeting place, they soon found that larger premises were required and in 1872 a new Chapel, adjoining the cottages, was opened with further extensions for the Sunday School which was opened in 1884.

In 1932 the Wesleyan, Primitive and United Methodist Churches nationally joined together to form The Methodist Church. In 1967 the two Methodist Societies in Earlestown amalgamated and worshipped as one Society in the Cross Lane Chapel. Sadly the 1880 Chapel was demolished a few years ago. It was replaced with a single story building on the same site it is now a united cause along with URC church.


This page was added by Jill Barber on 02/10/2013.
Comments about this page

The above is from a book "Earlestown - A railway town" published in 1992, I helped with the research, copying photographs that were loaned and the final editing.

By Alan Nixon
On 03/10/2013

For an update on plans for this building following this link.

By Geoff Dickinson
On 09/07/2015

That is fascinating..I wonder you can help. I have a plate celebrating the Prim Methodist of Earlestown 100 years celebrations. This plate is well over 100 years. I want to give it back to the church.

By Carole Wilson
On 04/08/2015

Mr John Clarke was my great grandfather and I am trying to locate his burial place. Information appreciated 

By Jen Fouts
On 11/12/2017