Chatham George Street Primitive Methodist chapel

George Street Chatham

By Christopher Hill

Chatham Historical Society has published a short history of Primitive Methodism in Chatham: to see it, see it follow this link.

That page says that after Chatham was missioned in 1844, rooms were rented in various back streets until a substantial chapel was built in George Street off Fair Row in 1849. However, the Primitive Methodist magazine (June 1855 pp.372-373) gives an account of the opening of Chatham Primitive Methodist chapel but dates it as March 18th 1855. 

The early impetus came from brother Calver, and in time a mortgage was offered, a plot of land secured at 4/. per annum rent, on a lease for ninety-nine years, and the foundation-stone was laid October 23, 1854, by R. H. Shrewsbury, Esq., deacon of Chatham Congregational church.

On March 18th and 25th, 1855, the opening sermons were preached by Revs. Messrs. J. Bywater and J. Ashworth, J. Russell (Baptist) and J. S. Hall (Congregationalist). On the 26th about 120 persons were present at a well-conducted tea meeting.

The chapel was 36 by 20 feet, and 15 feet high, "is chastely lighted by six windows, and as many gasburners ... A stone is placed in front with the words " George-street Primitive Methodist chapel, 1854," engraven thereon. It has a small vestry, a preacher's house, and some land for enlargement, when necessary."

The total cost was about £490. Special thanks were due to Mr. Acworth and Mr. Toomer, for their ready assistance and donations; Sir F. Smith, W. Bell, Esq., Messrs. French, Rumfitt, Likeman, and Martin, for donations ; Mr. Pemble, for drawing plans and specifications, and superintending the work.

By the 1890s, the George Street Chapel had become too small to accommodate the growing congregation. It was “small enough to put in a waistcoat pocket”, according to one minister.  It was replaced by Mills Terrace Primitive Methodist Church.


Reference

 Primitive Methodist magazine June 1855 pp.372-373

This page was added by Christopher Hill on 08/03/2017.

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