Cheltenham Primitive Methodist chapel
Kings Court, King St, Cheltenham GL50 4AU
The opening of Cheltenham Primitive Methodist chapel is described in the 1860 Primitive Methodist magazine by William Mottram.
“Dear Editor, I beg to inform you that we have been enabled to secure a spacious and comfortable chapel at Cheltenham. After proper preliminary arrangements had been made, a trust was quickly formed, deeds ordered, prepared and executed, the chapel was well repaired, and our opening services were commenced October, 9th 1859. In the morning and evening the writer conducted public worship, and in the afternoon, the Rev. James Smith preached for us.
The chapel occupies an excellent position, is a very substantial edifice, measures 45 feet square inside, is well pewed, and well lighted, has two convenient vestries, a gallery in front and on the east and west sides, and is capable of accommodating from 600 to 800 persons with seats. Our chapel was built for the Wesleyans in 1812; the situation is good, and it has cost us purchase money £300; repairs &c, £50.
On Sunday, October 31st, three sermons were preached ; those in the morning and evening by the Rev. M. Lupton, General Missionary Secretary, from London ; that in the afternoon, by the writer.
On Tuesday, November 1st, we held a tea meeting ; at the public service afterwards, the chair was taken by Mr. Lupton : the meeting was also addressed by the Rev. T. Close (Methodist New Connexion). Dr. Turnbull, Mr. Downing, and W. Mottram.
These services were of a profitable and interesting character, and will long be remembered. The financial results of our efforts so far, amount to £50.
Cheltenham, as your readers will be aware, is an important midland town, and popular watering place, and contains a population of about 40,000 souls.
In our chapel movement we are indebted to many friends for their assiduous perseverance, to J. B. Winterbotham, Esq., for making the deeds free of charge, and to several evangelical ministers of the town for substantial help, particularly the Rev. J. Smith, and, above all, to the Author of all good to whom be ceaseless praise.
That, through God’s gracious blessing, a strong, active, and holy Church may be raised and established here, is, dear Editor, the prayer of William Mottram”
The Gloucestershire County Council website gives us further information about the chapel which was in King Street.
“King Street or Ebenezer Chapel was opened by the Wesleyan Methodists on Sept 16th 1813. By the 1830s, Ebenezer was becoming too small, and in 1837 the decision to build a new church was made. Wesley Church on St George St was opened August 21st 1840..Between 1843 and 1855 the King Street chapel was used by the Cambray Baptists, before they moved to Cambray. The first primitive Methodist chapel in the town appears to have been on Russell Street, which began life as a Primitive Methodist mission in 1838. In 1847 the Methodists had no further use of the building and it was sold by auction to members of the Congregational Union (later becoming Gas Green Baptist Chapel). In 1851 the Primitive Methodists seemed to be revived in Cheltenham and took on a meeting place in Fairview Street, where they remained until they purchased the Ebenezer Chapel on King Street in 1859. The church closed in 1934, upon the merging of the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. It was later restored, and converted into flats in the mid-1990s, and is now known as ‘Kings Court’.”
Primitive Methodist magazine January 1860 page 48
Gloucestershire County Council website at http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/media/1862/cheltenham_non-conformists-60544.pdf accessed 23/12 2017