Marple Bridge; Jubilee PM Church, Cheshire

Jubilee Methodist Church (ex-PM) Marple Bridge, Cheshire
Geoff Heath

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  • The opening of the chapel on 21/09/1834 and 22/09/1834 is recorded by James Garner in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1835 (page 73). The preachers at the opening were Rev J R Stephen & Brother James Garner on the Sunday, and on the Monday Rev T Bennett (Calvinistic Independent Minister).

    The chapel is described as being “well fitted out.”

    By Christopher Hill (11/10/2017)
  • Compstall Primitive Methodist Chapel, as it was originally known, was built in 1833. It was then a single-storey building used as both church and Sunday school. 

    Its origin was a camp meeting at Compstall Bridge, of which Rev William Knowles wrote in the Primitive Magazine for 26 August 1827: “We held a camp meeting at Compstall Bridge. Very bad weather.” Rev Knowles later recorded in 1828 that “the Lord had raised up a church”, but it may be assumed in the absence of a chapel that meetings were held in local houses. In 1833 a plot of land was leased and work began on the erection of the chapel, which had space at one side for a graveyard – an unusual feature for a PM chapel.

    By 1867 the building was too small, and an extension was added. By 1893 a further extension was required, and a second storey was added, moving the church into the upper floor, and leaving the Sunday school downstairs. Since 60 years had elapsed since the chapel was opened, it took the name of “Jubilee”.

     The minister from 1906 to 1909 was Rev Samuel Woodall, He and his wife Tryphosa had two sons – Samuel and Ambrose – who both became doctors. Ambrose was created Lord Uvedale of Northend after he had operated on King George VI when he had lung cancer. Rev Samuel Woodall, his wife and their two sons were all buried at Jubilee. Both sons left money in trust for the benefit of Jubilee, Dr Samuel stipulating that two services each year should be held in remembrance of their parents. It may seem odd that Rev Samuel Woodall should be buried at Jubilee, There is a simple answer: very few PM churches had graveyards, and Jubilee was the only one such where he had been its minister. 

    In 1991, the (ex-United Methodist) church in nearby Mellor closed, and its members transferred to Jubilee. The Mellor organ was also moved to Jubilee to replace the electronic instrument installed in 1968. However, in the absence of a regular organist, most services today rely on a digital hymnal to accompany the singing. Jubilee is now in the Romiley Circuit. Reference: “Jubilee Methodist Church” by Miriam Wood (1997). (Published privately)

    By Geoff Heath (19/01/2013)

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