Faringdon Primitive Methodist Church
Oxfordshire, formerly Berkshire
The Primitive Methodists came to Faringdon in 1832 through the work of a Lambourn based travelling preacher, Thomas Russell. He was given a very rough time being beaten up and thrown in a brook, but his efforts paid off with the formation of a Primitive Methodist Society in 1837.
The Society had no premises on its own until 1851, when cottages were bought in Coxwell Street and a chapel built in their place. The 1851 census records them meeting in a “barn used for a chapel”
In 1897, increasing congregations led to the chapel being sold to the Anglicans as a Mission Hall (it has since become an electrical store and is now a house) with a new chapel erected almost opposite at the cost of £862. The 37 members took until 1919 to clear the debt incurred.
The Methodist union of 1932 saw the former Wesleyan Methodist Church closed (it is now a Masonic Hall) and the congregations unite at the former Primitve Chapel.
In 1970 Faringdon Methodist Church united with Faringdon Congregational Church to form Faringdon United Church. Being one of the first ecumenical projects involving Methodists and Congregationalists, no one was quite sure how to set up the church. The union was effected by the Methodists inviting all the Congregationalist to become members of the Methodist Church and vice versa.
Proceeds from the sale of the former Congregational Chapel to the Roman Catholics enabled the Methodist Chapel to be converted into a church hall and a new church was erected next door on the site of the Duke of York pub.
The union has been successful with membership holding up well.