Milton-next-Sittingbourne (Milton Regis) Primitive Methodist chapel
Primitive Methodism had been active in Milton-next-Sittingbourne (now known as Milton Regis) in the Chatham Mission for a number of years before around 1852 when a room was opened by a member, “who had to suffer persecution on that account.” Subsequently a missionary was stationed here, a larger room taken and a revival broke out.
In October, 1854 they started to build a chapel on a piece of freehold land they had secured. Chapels around this time were often built in three to four months; this one did not open until September 30th, 1855, due to “various difficulties and extremely painful circumstances”. Opening preachers were Mr Toulson, of Canterbury, and Rev. J. Moss (Independent), of Sittingbourne Further meetings were addressed by brother Ashworth, of Goudhurst, and Rev. J. Parrett (Independent), of Milton, sister Fuller, of Margate, Messrs., Fuller, Plommer, Harding, T Doody, and Coldwell and Harden, Bible Christians.
The chapel was 30 feet by 28, and 14 feet high, “with six windows, 96 letable seats, and a proportionate number free. It has a neat fence in front, and ground for enlargement when necessary”. The total cost was about £330., but they were struggling to raise one-third.
In fact, they did not complete the chapel until 1860. George Jones tells us that on October 28th 1860 the chapel was re-opened after painting. “Two columns have been erected at the entrance ; the pulpit and doors have been oak grained ; the pews stained and varnished ; the walls painted up to the hat-pins.” Preachers at the re-opening service and tea meeting included E Morris (Kidderminster), George Jones. Rev. W. E. Parrett (Congregationalist), Rev. R. Barron, Messrs. E. Morris and W. Thomsitt
The 1885 Ordnance Survey 1:2,500 map shows a Primitive Methodist chapel to the north of Water Street, later St Paul’s Street.
Primitive Methodist magazine December 1855 p.750
Primitive Methodist magazine January 1861 page 48