Kirby-le-Soken Primitive Methodist Chapel, Essex

also known as Lower Kirby

Keith Minford has brought to our attention an ex-PM Chapel at Kirby-le-Soken, Essex that is now an Evangelical Church. Follow the link to see a picture of the church.

The Methodists closed the Chapel but it was purchased and reopened as an Evangelical Church in 1968. Keith adds, ‘The present building was erected in 1926 but I think it replaced a tin tabernacle that was just round the corner.’

added by CH 11th March/5th May 2017

In the Primitive Methodist magazine of October 1855 G Stacey writes about the opening of Kirby Primitive Methodist chapel in the Colchester circuit. It was first missioned in 1838 and after open air preaching used Frinton Lodge until 1844. Then they held services, prayer meetings and classes on Holland Green until 1847. In the eight years after that they met in 5 different houses. They had the help from around 1852 W. Sallows, of Kirby and a cottage and garden, were purchased by W. Dolman in 1853, and legally conveyed to trustees in March, 1855.

On May 31st the foundation of a new chapel was laid and it was completed by July 21st. The building was 21 feet 6 inches by 30 feet, and 10 feet from the floor to the wall-plate, seated 150 and cost £102. On Sunday, July 29th, there was a procession from the preaching house to the new chapel where G Stacey and Rev. J. Butcher (Baptist) preached. The following Sunday, Rev.W. Hammond, of Ipswich preached, followed by a public tea on Monday, 6th which was provided in the chapel, for upwards of 120 people.

The society continued to grow and only 3 years later, in 1858 they spent £40 (and added £10 to the overall debt) making the chapel 10 feet longer so it accommodated 48 more people. Re-opening sermons were preached by Sister Ellison and Brother Cornaby. This enlargement was described by Robert Church.

I’m not sure that this is actually Kirby-le-Soken; on the 1874 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map I can find no Primitive Methodist chapel in Kirby le Soken. However on the map of 1897 it is marked on the west side of Halstead Road, now occupied by housing. 


Primitive Methodist magazine October 1855 pp.623-624

Primitive Methodist magazine November 1858 pp.681-682


Comments about this page

  • Can anyone identify which Kirby the 1855 account refers to? Kirby-le-Soken, Kirby Cross …?

    By Christopher Hill (11/03/2017)

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