Crostwick Primitive Methodist Chapel, Norfolk

By Norma Virgoe

After a transitory attempt in 1827, Primitive Methodist services officially began in Crostwick in spring 1837.  The Quarterly meeting in March 1840 asked that ‘all the preachers strive to carry more holy fire to Crostwick and try to get the people converted and form a society.’ Efforts to achieve this were unsuccessful as the next meeting reluctantly agreed to remove Crostwick from the plan as ‘we cannot raise a society although we have preached for years there.’ Yet, six months later, weeknight services were again begun and in 1843 Crostwick was planned once more for Sunday worship, but without lasting success.

In September 1895, four local preachers from the Norwich Primitive Methodist circuit began open air preaching services on Crostwick common and in the winter they moved into a local barn.  Cottage meetings were also held.  Eventually a small piece of land just off the main Coltishall road was let to the society for 25 shillings a year, trustees were appointed and plans set in hand for building. The chapel was opened in January 1897 and cost £92. A mission van was also sent to the village to drum up support for the society.  A Sunday school began in June 1897.

The chapel was formed of a wooden frame clad with corrugated iron. The interior was lined with wood, heated in winter with a tortoise stove and lit by efficient oil lamps.  When electricity became commonly used in the 1930s, it was never installed in the chapel because the old fashioned lamps were so good.  The one drawback occurred whenever there was a hail storm.  Services paused until the noise of the hail on the tin roof subsided.

At its peak in the 1920s, there were 12 members.  By 1950 this had fallen to two - Samuel Burdett and Walter Willgress - and with no one locally to act as treasurer or steward, the chapel was closed the following year.

End note

1.  N.R.O., FC 85/4, Norwich P.M. 2nd circuit minute book, 1836-54

This page was added by Jill Barber on 03/05/2013.

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