Old Newton Primitive Methodist Chapel
Lines on the Introduction of Primitive Methodism into Old Newton, 1835 and recited at their Sunday School anniversary, 1 June 1868
According to this delightful poem, the first Primitive Methodist missionary to arrive in Old Newton was Miss Hammond, whose ‘earnest words and loving voice’ caused many to choose the ‘better way’.
It tells us that the new society that was formed began meeting in a shed, as the rain rather dampened their enthusiasm for open air preaching.
Their first minister was James Lear (1836-38). He was followed by Francis Webster (1838-40). It was during his time that the Chapel was built in 1839. He was followed by Bentley Redhead (1840-41), William Yeadon (1841-42), Benjamin Drake (1842-43), James Seagar (1843-45), Marshall Tinsley (1845-46), Robert Dolman (1846-47), and Robert Key (1847-49).
The next minister, John Phillips (1849-53), began Old Newton School. He was followed by William Henry Meadows (1853-55), Robert Eaglen (1855-57) and William Hammond (1857-59).
The next minster James Allison (1859-61) was a hell fire preacher, and the cause seems to have declined under his ‘face of brass and tongue of flame’. Fortunately he was followed by John Sculpher (1861-63) who took a more loving approach. Next to minister at Old Newton was James Jackson (1863-66), and Robert Church (1866-67).
The minister at the tine these line were written and published was William Batterbee (1867-68), and the members were anticipating the arrival of their new minister William Cuthbert (1868-70).
This poem is an amazing record of 33 years in the life of the church. The question is, who was the author?