Glascote

Photo:The building c. 1972 after its acquisition by Elim Pentecostal Church

The building c. 1972 after its acquisition by Elim Pentecostal Church

Primitive Methodism around Tamworth 1

Michael Green

The first Primitive Methodist chapel was at Glascote which had come on plan in 1859. It was then a village about a mile from the town centre. The society grew and, in 1866, the June Quarterly Meeting of the Lichfield Primitive Methodist Circuit gave the go ahead for the erection of a chapel in East View. With great pomp and ceremony the memorial stone of the building was put in place and notionally laid by the prospective Parliamentary candidate for Tamworth, Sir H Lytton Bulwer, on 22nd October 1868 and opened for worship on 9th November 1868. It was a lively society which met there with two Sunday services, Monday classes, Thursday prayer meetings and Friday bible classes.

In 1871, there was an interesting experiment (unfortunately unsuccessful) which endeavoured to get away from pew rents. The congregation was invited to place a free will offering in a box located by the entrance door. Sadly, it did not achieve its original design and once more the pews were let!

Membership continued to grow and, as early as 1873, it was clear that a larger chapel would be needed but it was not until 1877 that land fronting the turnpike road through Glascote was acquired. Eight memorial stones were laid on 2nd October 1877 and the opening service took place on 11th March 1878 conducted by Rev Dr Antiff who took his text from Corinthians 1 7.16 and dwelt particularly on the Christian’s duty to win over unconverted family members..

The building had been constructed by a local builder, Mr Henry Mottram at a cost of around £1000. The old chapel in New Street was sold for £90 of which £50 was utilised on extinguishing the not inconsiderable chapel debt.

The society continued to grow (despite the Free Methodists only being a stone’s throw away) and there was much pressure on space but this time yet another new chapel was out of the question. Instead, the internal wall between the Sunday school and chapel was removed to greatly increase the worship area. The re-opening service took place on 8th April 1892 conducted by the then President of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, Dr Ferguson. Because, even with the enlarged space, the premises would not be able to accommodate all those expected to attend, the service took place at the Wesleyan Temple in Tamworth with the Unitarian schoolroom nearby being used for the refreshments.

Close relations were maintained with the now United Methodists nearby in Neville Street and some 8 years after Union, the former Primitive Methodist chapel closed and the members joined with the Neville Street society. Thereafter, the vacated premises were used mainly for storage before being acquired by the Elim Pentecostal Church in 1969. The premises were compulsorily purchased 1977 for road improvements and demolished.

This page was added by Jill Barber on 05/03/2014.

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