This is a community archive for the 19th century working class movement known as the Primitive Methodists. Here you can browse through photos, stories, memories and research, and it is easy to add your own pages. Find out more about us or get in touch.
The stone building was not connected to the chapel at all. It was in fact Thurmaston’s blacksmiths forge until the 1960s after which it fell into disrepair until it was completely renovated about five years ago The whole of the chapel site belongs to the garage next door and part of it is used for storage
Benjamin Middleton, the son of the tailor in whose cottage the Friendly Society was founded, became its Secretary. His obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine (1909) says, ‘He took this office 53 years ago when the Society was but a flourishing village club largely connected with the Primitive Methodist Church in Compton. Under his wise management the Society has grown, until it now has 26 branches, over 3,000 members and accumulated funds of over £16,000. More than 400 of these club members walked in the funeral procession as the remains of our brother were carried to the burying ground attached to the chapel which he had so much loved.’
I was interested to read the article by Malcolm Bee, which says that part of the reason why the society grew so much larger than other village friendly societies, with an influence far beyond the village of Compton, is that the Compton Pilgrims embodied a set of moral values which could be spread by the expansion of the club.
In its early years the members faced opposition, but the Primitive Methodist minister who founded it, Robert Langford, was evangelistic in calling people to join the benefit society, ‘Through the mercies of our God we are now increasing … and whatever might have been said by the ignorant and superstitious, to endeavour to stop the rise and progress of our noble cause, we have to be thankful that hitherto every effort has been vain and useless … we … invite all men that might come under our age and sphere of life, to come with us and do as we have done, viz:- To use the means of youth, health and strength, to provide for themselves against the day of adversity, distress and old age.’
Its strengths were its links with religious nonconformity, specifically Primitive Methodism, and a strong belief in the principles of self-help and independence. Its roots in Primitive Methodism can be seen in the open air service which was part of the annual meeting. The printed rules of the society were also full of biblical quotations.
Pictures from a second page on Broad Lane have been added to this page. On that page there were also the following comments: By Ade Marks (06/05/2013) We are truly delighted to see these pictures of Grapevine Community Church on this website. We value and appreciate the Primitive Methodist history of this chapel and the communities of worshippers who were there before us. Thank you for your prayers and vision. We would be most grateful to receive any information and photographs which enable us to describe and celebrate this rich history. Please do let us know at: email@example.com or drop in and say hello! By Wendy Pointer (06/05/2013) The second picture is certainly of a church which is thriving with God’s blessing. For those interested here is our web page: http://www.grapevinecommunitychurch.org/ If you attended the chapel in the past or have an interest in the history of Illogan churches feel free to drop in – perhaps share a coffee and a chat on a Friday morning, you are sure to be welcomed with a smile! By David CRACKNELL (07/05/2013) Its a project on going so we would love to hear from anyone with information. As Wendy has said, its a thriving chapel. Having closed in the 1990’s, the local Apostolic congregation took it on with support from Redruth Baptist Church, before passing to Grapevine Community Church. The original chapel (which was wood) opened in 1859, and the present chapel followed in 1887 and extended shortly afterwards. Famous persons connected are Richard TANGYE (of TANGYE Bros. Engineers) and Thomas MERRITT (Composer). I believe the site celebrates 155 years in 2014.