Enfield Primitive Methodist chapel

complete with brass band!

Enfield Primitive Methodist chapel
Christian Messenger 1903/273
Enfield Primitive Methodist chapel after conversion to retail use
Alison Shepherd April 2021
Enfield Primitive Methodist chapel after conversion to retail use
Alison Shepherd April 2021

The Christian Messenger of 1903 tells us a little of the origins of Enfield Primitive Methodist chapel:

In 1858 a small chapel was built on Chase Side, in which our people worshipped until, in 1894, the present chapel was erected. For many years the work in the old chapel had been stationary; the membership below 30, and quarterage not reaching £7. But with the building of the new chapel, and making Enfield the head of a new Circuit in 1901, the membership rose to 100, and the amount sent to the June quarterly meeting of 1902 was £31 16s. 11½d. The Primitive Methodist magazine of April 1893 reports that they had acquired a an excellent freehold site for “a more commodious place of worship”.

In addition to the usual institutions of a church, Enfield society possesses the rare equipment of a brass band. A great deal of the spiritual and financial success of the church is due to this mission band. Before every Sunday morning and evening service they mission the streets, and conduct open-air services. They have been in great demand for the United Free Church Council open-air meetings. They supply all their own leaders and speakers, and are not confined to merely playing the instruments.

One Sunday evening, as they were marching towards the chapel, the master of the Poor House stopped them, and asked if they could play “Safe in the arms of Jesus” for a poor dying woman. The secretary said, “I am sorry haven’t got the music for that, but, bless the Lord, we can sing, it‘! ” And at once the 25 or more masculine voices sent up through the open window the cheering strains of that grand old hymn.”

Where was this chapel and what happened to it?


Christian Messenger 1903/273

Primitive Methodist magazine April 1893 page 252

Comments about this page

  • I took these photographs in April 2021, having looked at the roofline from my kitchen window for years without giving it a thought.

    As stated, the chapel was built in 1894, closed in1957 and the building became a Salvation Army Hall, probably until about 1973. It was then taken over by AT Labs then the Audio T Store, as pictured, until May this year when the lease came to an end and the landlord wished to change the use of the premises. The profile and footprint of the building remains much the same.

    By Alison Shepherd (09/11/2023)
  • The chapel is still there, although the front has been so heavily remodelled that you wouldn’t recognise it if you didn’t know where to look. It’s on the east side of Chase Side, between Manor Road and Halifax Road. It’s the one building with a triangular profile, where everything around it is more traditionally-shaped. The building number is either 159 or very close to that. On Google Street View it seems that the back half of the building is still the original brickwork.

    The Enfield Society has a 1976 photo of the chapel, looking very much like the 1903 photo. https://www.enfieldsociety.org.uk/photographs/displayimage.php?album=31&pid=857

    The Imperial War Museum states that the chapel’s war memorial tablet is now in Trinity Church URC https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/38973

    The 1858 building was further north, on the west side of Chase Side north of Gordon Hill. The site is under the main block of Borrowdale Court – the location can be seen on older OS maps.

    By Peter Sketch (07/11/2023)

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