The Sharp Family of Lowca, Harrington and Ellenburgh

connection with chapels in Lowca and Harrington

I have been doing research into my husband’s family (the Sharp Family of Lowca Cumberland).

We have discovered links with Primitive Methodism, and Trade Unionism. My husband’s grandmother , Mary Jane Sharp (1867-1965) had two cousins.

1) John Sharp (1821-1897)was a minister in Cornwall and Cumberland, and

2) his brother George Sharpe moved to Liverpool and became a timber merchant and a Primitive Methodist local preacher (from Census records).

We would like to know more about their training. What started out as compiling a Family has become a detailed study of two Cumbrian families ( 1750-1950).

I have found John’s photo in the list of ministers

Comments about this page

  • Dear Geoff, Thankyou so much for the info. You have really made John and George come to life. We have just bought a campervan and will certainly visit EngleseaBrook. We used to preach on The Plan in West cumberland, although we now go to an Evangelical Church in Salisbury

    By Sheila Nixon (19/10/2015)
  • Sheila,

    The training received by John and George at the time they trained as local preachers would have been very much ‘on the job’.

    Persons identified as potential local preachers were appointed by the Circuit Quarterly Meeting to accompany an established preacher to their appointments – given a ‘Note’ to preach. As they started to take more of the service they would progress to eventually taking a ‘Trial Sermon’ which would be reviewed in the Quarterly meeting. If deemed acceptable they would be placed on ‘full plan’ and would be expected to preach on most Sundays.

    Those going on to become ministers were put forward by their Circuit to the District Meeting and, if accepted, would be placed on a station by the annual conference. This process was called pledging. Some may have been employed as ‘Hired Local Preachers’ by one or more circuits.

    The new minister would work under the direction of the Circuit Superintendent during a period of four years probation. This time was often spent in more than one circuit. Subject to satisfactory reports the minister would then be fully accepted by the conference as a PM Itinerant Preacher.

    Unless married before becoming a minister, a probationer was not allowed to marry until their probation period was completed.

    Follow this link for more information.

    Formal ministerial training began in the 1860’s initially at Elmfield College, York and later at Sunderland and Manchester

    By Geoff Dickinson (02/07/2015)

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