Thetford Primitive Methodist chapel

You can trace some of the history of this chapel through the Primitive Methodist magazine.

The Primitive Methodist magazine of 1830  contains an account by Robert Olby of the opening of Thetford Primitive Methodist chapel. Opening services took place on Sunday 8th November 1829. Preachers were G Tetley and R Steele.  The chapel was erected solely at the expense of Mr. George Wharton “for the benefit of the inhabitants of Thetford.” It measured 16′(w) x 28′(l) and seated 90 people.

In due course the chapel was enlarged by the addition of the two cottages that stood in front of it.

The Primitive Methodist magazine of January 1852 contains an account by G Tetley (who had preached at the opening) of the re-opening of Thetford Primitive Methodist chapel. Re-opening services took place on 24th and 26th October 1851.

The major improvement was the addition of a gallery.  Opening sermons were preached by Revs Messrs Mathews, Baddeley, Tetley and Reed.

In the 1859 magazine Robert Nurse (senior) tells of the further enlargement and improvement. The society was carrying a debt of £180 by this time which was a major burden, but in 1858 Thomas Mackill helped them reduce it by £50, which encouraged them to consider expansion.

A survey of Sunday schools in the town revealed that the Prim Sunday school was the second largest in the town, and this prompted Cornell Fison, the Thetford mayor to acquire and donate land for  expansion. After expansion and improvement the chapel seated 450 and measured 46′ x 36’with a vestry 18′ x 11′. The cost was £193/17/9 of which they had raised £132/18/3.

Speakers at the re-opening events which included a tea for 250 included Revs C Robbins, William Harland, Morgan Lloyd (Independent), A Makintosh (Wesleyan), W Hammond, J Broadhurst.

William Barker and W Gooch carted the materials free of charge.

Does this chapel still exist?  Where was it?


Primitive Methodist magazine 1830 page 100

Primitive Methodist magazine Jan 1852 page 56

Primitive Methodist magazine November 1859 pages 686-687


A summary of Primitive Methodism in Thetford by Norma Virgo

Comments about this page

  • This page was modified on 22 June 2019 to add an article about Primitive Methodism in Thetford by Norma Virgo. The article includes a picture of the chapel interior and exterior in a street scene. Norma records that the primitive Methodist chapel building was retained until 1957, when the building was then sold.

    By Geoff Dickinson (22/06/2019)
  • Success leads to success! Because Thetford Primitive Methodist society had the second biggest Sunday school in the town, the Mayor gave them a big area of land for expansion.

    I’ve added the third contribution to the story of this chapel from the Primitive Methodist magazine. 

    By Christopher Hill (13/11/2017)

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