Lydney; Ebenezer Primitive Methodist chapel

Photo:Ebenezer Primitive Methodist chapel, Lydney

Ebenezer Primitive Methodist chapel, Lydney

Keith Guyler 1990

Springfield Road Lydney GL15 5LT

By Christopher Hill

Lydney; Ebenezer Primitive Methodist chapel was founded in 1850, and we understand it is still open in 2014.

A contemporary account of the opening by George Grigg is included in the Primitive Methodist magazine of March 1852.  He dates the initial missioning by  C Robins as 1845 and a small society was founded then. It met in the house of Mr and Mrs Edward Hawell.  

A significant camp meeting was held on Sunday 3rd August 1850 leading to the growth of the society to 28 members.  The house they used for meetings was no longer big enough and two cottages were bought and turned into a chapel, which was opened by Rev E Foizey of Bristol.  On the following day, the 19th (although Mr Grigg does not tell us which month or even year it was the 19th of).  The overall cost was £137 of which they had raised over £47.  A cottage at the end of the chapel could also be let to bring in a rent.

At the time of the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/576/3/3/9), the name of the place of worship was entered as "none", but it was a separate building used exclusively for religious worship built "in the year of our Lord 1850". There was seating for 100, and if there weren't enough seats, enough room for 40 persons to stand. The congregation on March 30th was 60 at the morning service, 100 in the afternoon, and 140 in the evening. The form was completed by Thomas Peters, a Trustee, who lived in Lydney.

Kelly's Directory of 1923 records Lydney's Primitive Methodist Chapel as built in 1869. It is labelled on early Old Maps as "Ebenezer Chapel (Primitive Methodist)".

The Victoria County History series: A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 5  records the origins of its congregation in two cottages at Newerne which were converted into a chapel by the Primitive Methodists in 1850. The new chapel was built on the road to Primrose Hill (later Springfield Road) in 1869, and 2 years later, in 1871, the old chapel was sold. After the Methodist Union of 1932 it became Springfield Methodist Church.There is a further element to the story. 

Three years after creating this page I came across additional information:

In the Primitive Methodist magazine of January 1860 Joseph Hibbs recounts the opening of a new Lydney Primitive Methodist chapel in 1859. "Sanction was obtained from the Building Committee; specifications were issued, and the work was let to be executed for £110, the builder to take all the old materials, except the benches and pulpit. The foundation-stone was laid on Whit-Monday last, by Mr. J. Lambert, of Bristol, who preached a sermon on the occasion; after which a tea meeting was held in the Wesleyan chapel, and a public meeting afterwards. The proceeds of the tea and collections were £12 10s.

The chapel is 34 feet by 19, and 17 feet from the floor to the ceiling; it is well ventilated, has a good boarded floor, eight lettable pews, and other seats, a platform at the upper end, a good roof covered with blue slates, four windows, 10 feet by 3, seven ground glass, a neat brick front, and it stands in a good situation. 

The opening services took place on the 9th and 16th of October, 1859. The Rev. J. Holmes, and the Rev. E. Elliot, Baptist minister of the place, preached three impressive sermons, and on the 16th, the writer and the Rev, T. Jones, of Chepstow, officiated ; the weather was very unfavourable on the latter day, but, on the whole, the services were well attended, and the collections satisfactory. A tea meeting was held on the 17th.


Reference: 

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol5/pp46-84#h3-0012 accessed January 6th 2015

Primitive Methodist magazine March 1852 pp.179-180

Primitive Methodist magazine January 1860 p. 46

 

This page was added by Christopher Hill on 06/01/2015.
Comments about this page

The sequence of events I described when I created this page in 2015 is thrown up in the air a bit by the account I found in the Primitive Methodist magazine of January 1860 of the opening of a new Lydney Primitive Methodist chapel in 1859. 

  • Is the 1859 chapel not the same Lydney chapel?  This is unlikely as the details of the earlier purchase of two cottages and their conversion into a chapel is included in the 1860 account.
  • Is the 1869 date quoted in Kelly's Directory and the Victoria County History incorrect?
  • Was there a new chapel in 1859 and another new chapel in 1869

Suggestions - or preferably answers - please.

By Christopher Hill
On 24/12/2017