Penrith Arthur Street Primitive Methodist Chapel

Former PM Chapel, Arthur Street, Penrith
GW Oxley, 13.05.2013, Ref P1010040
Date plaque
GW Oxley, Ref P1010041

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  • The opening services in the new chapel started on Good Friday 1857, April 10th. In the Primitive Methodist magazine for July 1857 (pp.429-430) Joseph Wilson gives an account of the opening. He waxes lyrical about the setting of Penrith and Ullswater (probably why the sermon referred to in the foundation stone laying wasn’t published) which he takes as evidence of God’s splendour.

    Primitive Methodists missioned Penrith in the 1820s. They met first in a house, then a hay-loft, then, around 1830, in a barn – which was both expensive and had the inconvenience of a stable underneath.  By 1855 the society had few members and was about to lose it’s meeting room.  However, a step of faith led them to obtain a site in the middle of town and the chapel was built.

    Opening sermons were preached by Rev JA Bastow.  A tea meeting in the George Assembly Room accommodated 300 before further sermons at a public meeting by R GAte, Revs Butterwick, Brewis and J Wilson; and t Goodfellow, J Abbott, W Wilson, P Maundrell and J Pattinson.  Revs J Phillips and J Hannah preached at later services.

    The chapel is 43′ x 36′ and 17′ high. The 2′ thick walls were built of freestone and under the chapel was a school room.  A cottage could be let to generate an income, and there was room for a further cottage to be built.

    The overall cost was £320 of which £100 had been raised.

    The Ordnance Survey 1:500 plan of 1859-1863 shows the chapel in Meeting House Lane at the junction with Arthur Street.

    By Christopher Hill (11/01/2017)
  • The Primitive Methodist magazine for January 1857 p.50 contains a note by Joseph Wilson about the laying of a foundation stone for a new chapel at Penrith on November 26th 1856. ┬áThe date in the picture above is 1857, so it is likely to be this chapel.

    Mr Wilson comments that “the day was exceedingly unfavourable”; nevertheless he laid the stone and a sermon was preached by Rev Mr Brewis.

    The Magazine editor resisted the opportunity to publish the sermon, due to lack of space.

    By Christopher Hill (19/12/2016)

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