Leicester Friar's Primitive Methodist chapel

collapsing gallery

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Friar's Primitive Methodist chapel

In the leaflet published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hinkley Road Primitive Methodist chapel (see here) it says, “Our early ancestors in Leicester worshipped first in George Street Chapel, and later in what was called The Friars Chapel, a chapel which was purchased from the Independent Methodists.”

Similarly, in an article in  the Primitive Methodist Magazine of 1907 (see here), Rev EW Pape tells us, “The first extension of the good work carried on at George Street, was the purchase in 1829, of Alexander Street, commonly called the ‘Friars Chapel,” named from the locality where it was situated. This building had belonged to a community of Independent Methodists, and William Key, to whom Leicester Primitive Methodism owes much, appears to have been taken over with the chapel. He was a valuable asset, and made the £250 paid for the property, a very profitable investment. It was here while John Verity was preaching, that a temporary gallery, erected to provide more room for this event, collapsed, but fortunately there were no casualties. This little sanctuary of four plain walls, and no vestry, and seating about 150 persons, was the Mother of Leicester Second Circuit, with its present membership of 1,200, its scholars’ roll of nearly 4,000, and property valued at nearly £30,000.”

A much earlier Primitive Methodist Magazine of 1837 tells us about the re-opening of the chapel  after the erection of “a commodious new gallery”.  Was that the one that collapsed or a permanent addition after wards?  At that time the society had  110 members,  greatly helped by remissioning.

The re-opening took place on April 23rd 1837 and T Morgan writes about it.

Alexander Street just about still exists.  It is shown on Street View in 2019 as ready for development, next to Friar’s Mill Business Centre.

Reference

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1837/345

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1907/529

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