Morton (Bethel) PM Chapel, Shropshire

This chapel in the rural district of Oswestry is still being used for worship.



The chapel at Morton was opened for worship on the 28th October 1838. There was not enough money to pay for the building and the society there were left with a debt. However they went forward in faith and prayed that they would be able to find the rest of the money. Their prayers were quickly answered when one William Rogers an elderly gentleman from Crickheath and his nephew agreed to pay off the debt. William ‘anxiously requested the society to pray for him that he might be saved’. We do not know the outcome.


The stone chapel sits on the corner of a cross roads and seats about 70 people. It faces what was the old smithy and it was here that John Morry, a preacher and blacksmith, lived. He was born in Ashley near Tunstall the son of a blacksmith. As a child he remembers Hugh and James Bourne and James Nixon visiting his father’s house. In 1834 John Morrey was converted and his name appeared on the plan. Three years later in 1837 his name appeared on the Oswestry plan as a minister. He was in the ministry for only 9 months feeling that as a simple man this office was somthing he could not live up to. People who knew him thought differently. They said he was a preacher and speaker of the highest rank, highly intelligent and of a striking personality. After his decision to withdraw from the ministry he settled at Morton as the blacksmith. He spent his long life dedicated to the PrimitiveMethodistChurch and good causes. He died in 1908 in his 91st year having been a local preacher for 73 years.


OS Map ref:126:SJ290240

The photographs were taken in April 2012


Primitive Methodist magazine 1841 p 363 transcribed by David Tonks

Comments about this page

  • Shropshire Archives:

    Ref. XPH/M/7 to 12:  Black & White Photographs of interior and exterior of Morton PM Chapel, taken 21st Sept, 1995.

    Ref. XNMB 136/B: Morton PM Chapel’s Trustees. /H: Society Stewards. /Z: Miscellaneous Documents.

    By Raymond E.O.Ella (27/03/2018)
  • Morton PM Chapel on sale by public auction, 2018.

    By Raymond E.O.Ella (27/03/2018)
  • There is an account by R Ward of the opening of this chapel in the Primitive Methodist magazine of 1841 (page 363). As well as practical detail, it recounts that much of the money was raised through the generosity of William Rogers, an elderly gentleman, of Criekheath. He “very cheerfully paid the fifty-two pounds, and anxiously requested the society to pray for him, that he might be saved.  T. Jones, his nephew, paid the eight pounds, two shillings, and seven pence; so this chapel was freed from debt.  This is the best golden system, for the rich to clear off the chapel debt at once, and request the poor to pray for them.” Wonderful!

    By Christopher Hill (14/09/2017)
  • Greetings to Phil Hellin. We are sorry to inform you that the Rev’d John Parker was never curate at the Primitive Methodist Chapel at Morton Shropshire. As the Primitive Methodist Connextion never had the position of ‘curate’, John Parker was more likely to have been curate at the Parish Church of St. Philip and St. James (Morton) Church Lane Morton Shropshire. OS Map ref:126:SJ292246. The word ‘Chapel’ is usually associated with a Nonconformist place of worship. I have recently read that:- ‘Morton a township in Oswestry parish and chapelry partly also in Llanblodwell parish’. The Chapelry, a district legally assigned to and served by an Anglican Chapel was constituted in 1861. Best Wishes with your research into John Parker. Elaine and Richard.

    By Elaine and Richard Pearce (13/02/2014)
  • Dear Elaine and Richard, I am researching the life of the rev. John Parker, the reknowned vicar of Lanyblodwell who was an eccentric Gothic revivalist of church architecture. Interestingly his first appointment after being ordained in 1823 was to become a curate at your church/chapel.Do you have any evidence of his stay at your church? I’m wondering if his later craze for church design emanated in some small way from the short time he was curate at your church.I would love to see your church some time. i live in Montgomery and my time is fairly flexible now that i’ve recently retired from teaching, Yours Sincerely, Phil Hellin

    By phil (21/01/2014)

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