Gateshead Primitive Methodist chapel
Recovery from the loss of a large chapel imprudently erected
The Primitive Methodist Magazine for March 1854 contains an account by W Dent of the opening of Gateshead Primitive Methodist chapel.
But this is a chapel with a story behind it that Mr Dent hints at but does not reveal. He writes, “in the history of Primitive Methodism in Gateshead, there are some things which it is wise to pass over in silence.” However, he excuses the present members who have no “occasion to hold down their heads while remembering these things, having been sufferers from the misdoings of others.”
The only glimpse he gives is a reference to “the loss of the large chapel in 1840 which had been imprudently erected about two years before (which meant that) the society was reduced to a condition of distress and reproach. … Many who in the day of prosperity appear very zealous, in the day of adversity lose all their courage and all their attachment to a good cause.”
The recovery started with the opening of a small room in West Street, and as things progressed an effort to raise funds for a new chapel began in 1850. It took a while, but a plot of land was acquired from Mr CJ Pearson for £190 and the foundation stone was laid by “our old and popular friend, Mr H Hebbron,” on Whit Monday (May 16th) 1853. The number of those from “other evangelical denominations” was particularly pleasing.
Building the new chapel was not straightforward – it was hard to find a mortgage and one of the three contractors “fell victim to the fearful epidemic that was then hurrying off so many busy mortals into the eternal world.” However, the chapel was opened on January 1st 1854. Next day there was a tea meeting where the addresses were “moderately good.” Opening sermons were preached by W Dent, Mr Hebbron, Mr Hallett and H Kendall of Sunderland.
The chapel measured 40′ x 41′ outside and accommodated 376 people. There was a school room below the chapel and a double vestry. They had sufficient room for a future gallery should it be needed and land for a house behind the chapel
The article does not say where the chapel was. On this site there are several Gateshead chapels; how does this chapel relate to them? Can anyone piece the jigsaw together?
Primitive Methodist Magazine March 1854 174-177