Accrington Primitive Methodist chapel

Whalley Road

In the 1860 Primitive Methodist magazine, John Mould writes about the opening of Accrington Primitive Methodist chapel in the Fox Hill Branch of the Haslingden Circuit. 

“Accrington is a rising and important town in East Lancashire, with a population of upwards of 15,000, the chief employment being the manufacture of cotton goods and calico printing. The history of Primitive Methodism in this town L- like many things in human life— marked by many changes, some of which are not the most pleasing. Upwards of thirty years ago, the late Rev. T. Battey, Rev. G. Herod, and others, missioned the town, succeeded in raising a society, and rented a chapel ; this being too small, an effort was made, and a new chapel, with cottages underneath, was built, and opened about 1&35 or 1836, under the superintendency of the late Rev. J. Verity.

Subsequently the chapel was lost to tip connexion. Seven years ago, Brother John Standrin, re-missioned the town ; a very inconvenient room was rented, and when I came to this station in 1856 I found a society of about 20 members, and a congregation of from 30 to 40. Pews and a pulpit were put into the room, the little society worked and prayed, and the Lord smiled on our service, so that now we number upwards of 40 members, and about 140 Sabbath-scholars. Eighteen months ago, we began to think it possible for us to build something like a plain school-room in which to worship and teach ; our thoughts were made known, and the public entertained the thing favourably ; our friend James Whitaker, Esq., encouraged us, gave us his counsel, and we determined accordingly to attempt a good chapel and school room. Land was taken in the best street in the town (leasehold), at an annual rent of six guineas, and in April of last year, Mr. Whitaker laid the corner-stone of the new building in the presence of upwards of 2,000 spectators, many of whom wept for very joy ; a suitable hymn being sung, the Rev. Mr. Duncan (Wesleyan) prayed, the Rev. G. Kidd delivered an address, and the Rev. C. Williams (Baptist) closed with prayer. A tea and public meeting, presided over by Mr. Whitaker, and addressed by the various ministers of the town, in the Baptist school-room, closed the day’s proceedings.

The building, now completed, is substantial, plain, and neat, built of stone, 14 by 13 yards outside, has rustic corners well dressed and splayed, front and sides are of rock-faced work, well bedded and jointed ; the school is under the chapel, has a boarded floor, fixed seats, with boarded backs, against the wall all round, is twelve feet high from the floor to the ceiling, is lighted by nine good windows, which can never be darkened by other buildings.

The chapel is 26 feet from the floor to the ceiling, has three windows in each side, and three in the front ; it is entered by a broad flight of steps ; the door- way, which is ten feet high by five feet wide, has folding -doors, with fan light above ; the aisles are entered from the vestibule by side doors with springs to the back ; the walls are lined with boards a little higher than the top of the pews ; there are also two excellent lofty, large vestries, joining the back gable, the lower one for the school, and the one above it for the chapel; the front fence is a good stone wall with coping, on the top of which is strong wrought iron palisading, with wide folding-gates of wrought iron for the entrance to the chapel, and a similar gate is the medium of entrance to the school.

The chapel was opened for divine worship on the first and second Sabbaths in December last, when sermons were preached by the Revs. Charles Lace, of Sheffield, and John Petty, of Hull ; a sermon was also preached by the Rev. Charles Garrett (Wesleyan). The congregations were large, the collections liberal, and the Great Head of the Church signally hallowed the services. The entire expenditure, inclusive of connexional deed, is £680 : a donation by James Whitaker, Esq., £50 ; collected, £253 ; realised at the opening services, £77 ; total, £380 : leaving a debt of £300. We take this opportunity of expressing our sincere thanks to James Whitaker, Esq., and all our helpers.

The chapel was on Whalley Road, but where abouts and what happened to it?


Primitive Methodist magazine March 1860 pages 173-174


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