Seacombe Primitive Methodist Church

Seacombe Primitive Methodist Church, as designed in 1907
Rev Steven Wild

In 1923, the PM Conference Handbook described Seacombe as, ‘a church with a future’.  It continued, ‘The first church was erected in 1868 and the present school-church in 1907.  It has a membership of over 300 and nearly 600 scholars and the main church building is being anticipated.’

The postcard opposite is fascinating, as it shows a church that was never built!   It clearly shows the original architect’s design for the new building in 1907. Tantalisingly, someone has written ‘As it was first designed but the actual building is quite different’.

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  • The Liverpool Daily Post of 19 February 1868 reported as follows:
    ‘LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE OF A PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL IN SEACOMBE.
    Yesterday afternoon, at half-past three o’clock, the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of a new chapel in connection with the Primitive Methodist Society took place, at Seacombe, in the presence of a considerable assembly. The Primitive Methodist Society at Seacombe forms part of a circuit, the head-quarters of which are in Birkenhead, and has been in existence about three years. It numbers 40 members, together with about 80 attendants at chapel. The circuit ministers are Revs. T. Hindley and J. Hill. The society at Seacombe has for some time past worshipped in a wooden structure; but having secured an eligible piece of land, at the corner of Brighton-street and Pitt-street, is now engaged in building thereon a permanent chapel, at a cost of £600, exclusive of the land. The plans have been designed by Mr Williams, of Seacombe, and embrace a chapel calculated to seat 400 persons, vestries, &c., and a Sunday School capable of accommodating 200 children. The building will be of brick with stone dressings. Mr. Geo. Dickinson, of Seacombe, is the contractor. The ceremony yesterday commenced with the singing of a hymn, after which the Rev. J. Hill read a portion of Scripture, and the Rev. T. Hindley engaged in prayer. The Rev. Mr. Ball, of Liverpool, then made an address, in which he enumerated the leading doctrines held and taught by the Primitive Methodists …’

    Brighton Street still exists but I cannot find any reference to Pitt Street (it is not in the 1861 or 1871 Censuses). However, there was a Platt Street running off Brighton Street (one street south of Brougham Road) which seems to have been built between the 1861 and 1871 Censuses. An 1876 map shows an unlabelled double frontage building with rear extension on the south side of the junction (https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/332156/391233/12/100093). Could this have been the chapel? The main building scales at about 40 foot square which seems too small to seat 400. It appears on maps up to and including 1935, seems to have been split on a 1954 map and has disappeared by 1977.
    Strangely, I have not been able to find a newspaper report of the chapel opening.

    By Chris Wells (11/11/2020)
  • Further information about Primitive Methodism in Wallesey can be found at the History of Wallesey website.
    In relation to this chapel it records that after “World War One it was decided to open a new chapel. A site was obtained in Poulton Road, Seacombe, on the corner of Northbrook Road. The stone laying ceremony was held on 21st May, 1927, and was laid by Charles Wass Esq, J.P., who was to become Vice President of Primitive Methodist Church in 1930. The church opened for worship on 4th April, 1928, with the dedication service started by Revd. J.H Saxton of Middlesborough.

    In the Second World War the Primitive Methodist Church was destroyed by a bomb during the March 1941 air-raids. The church was then demolished in 1944.”

    The 1941 statistical return records the chapel as brick built seating 600 with three school halls and 11 other rooms.

    By Geoff Dickinson (14/01/2019)

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