Westbromwich Square, Westbromwich Circuit. — For many years our preaching services were conducted in a house, and latterly in a rented chapel, which was much too small, and the cry was, give us room that we may dwell. Earnest prayer was made that a more suitable place might be secured, on which to erect a house for God. At length the opening appeared, and ground was secured for £60; and on Monday, July 21st, the foundation stone was laid by John Lees, Esq., of Hill Top.
The day was fine and everything favourable. At one o’clock the Sabbath school children, teachers, and friends, met to form a procession. All the children carried flags and banners, and on moving they commenced singing,— ” Praise ye the Lord, ’tis good to raise,” &o. We proceeded through Hill-Top and Gold’s Green, returning with a very large number of gentlemen and friends to the site on which the chapel was to be erected.
The following gentlemen very kindly took part in the ceremony : Thomas Davis, J. Grise, C. Bloomer, J. J. Bowater, W. Hodgkins, S. Lees, Esqs. ; Revs. J. Morton, R. Jukes, M. Nicholas, S. Sanders, R. Jones, and E. Burton ; and at least a thousand people were present, full of interest, and greatly profited.
Mr. Lees gave a most excellent address, in which he remarked that he hoped when the chapel was finished it would at once be paid for ; and went on to show how it may be done. A collection was made amounting to the noble sum of £50, £26 of which were given by Mr. Lees. Excellent addresses were delivered by the other gentlemen named. The Doxology, and prayer by Rev. R. Jones, closed this service.
Before dismissing the children a supply of buns, given by Mr. Lees, was distributed by Miss Lees to the children of the school. The company now moved away to the Wesleyan school-room, Hill-Top, (very kindly lent for the occasion), where about 500 sat down to tea, after which the chair was taken by John Lees, Esq., and addresses were given by Revs. J. Morton, R. Jukes, R. Jones, M. Nicholas, S. Sanders, S. Lees, J. Grice and Thos. Davis, Esqs.
The latter gentleman very kindly gave an additional £5 towards the chapel. I may add that the sympathy and help of our Wesleyan friends has surpassed all I ever saw. May God ever bless them, and make the chapel, when built, the birth-place of thousands. Amen. Maurice Nicholas.”
Primitive Methodist magazine 1862 page 754