Batley Primitive Methodist chapel

By Christopher Hill

The Primitive Methodists in Batley first met in a small and inconvenient preaching room. The first Batley Primitive Methodist chapel was second hand; they bought it from the Methodist New Connextion.  It was substantial -  "it is built of stone, measures 12 yards by 13, and the walls are 22 inches thick. It is galleried on three sides, and contains a singer’s gallery behind the pulpit, and will seat from 450 to 500 hearers." 

The expenditure was considerable for a society of only 20 members - it cost £540 but having raised promises of £100, they went ahead. Major donors included J. Crossley, (Halifax), J. Bedford, J. Whittaker, M. Oldroyd, J. Nussey, B. Senior, Messrs. G. and R. Blackley and Sons and friends at York and Huddersfield.

"Having undergone a thorough cleansing", the chapel was opened for Divine worship on Friday, December 14th, 1855.  Preachers in the opening services included Rev. T. Scales (Independent), Rev. J. Floyd (Wesleyan), Rev. J. Harvey, of Leeds, Rev. J. Rae, B.A. (Independent) ,  Rev. W. Sanderson, from Kirton, Rev. L. Saxton (New Connexion minister), Mr. J. Bedford, W. Newsome, J. Child, J. Lister, W. Machin, and R. Mather and the Rev. T. Penrose.

In the Primitive Methodist magazine of March 1856 George Normandale tells us that the new chapel was the start of growth in the society. A new class was formed at the opening with 13 new members; the new Sunday school soon had twenty teachers and 50 scholars.

In 1868 the chapel was sold, and one in Wellington Street (opposite the end of Preston Street where there is now an Assemblies of God Fellowship) was purchased from the Congregationalists. However, soon after taking possession, the Chapel was destroyed by fire. "Whether it was the “burning zeal” of the members that caused the conflagration we know not, but certainly gain came out of loss. Upon the ruins of the old chapel a beautiful and commodious sanctuary was erected in 1874."  There is more of the story in an account in the Christian Messenger of 1918 you can see here.


Reference

Primitive Methodist magazine March 1856 pp.175-177

Christian Messenger 1918/236

 

This page was added by Christopher Hill on 26/03/2017.

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