BROWN EDGE, Staffordshire

Marshes Hill: Camp Meeting site

Brown Edge is a Staffordshire moorland village within sight of Mow Cop. Camp meetings were often, but not always held in prominent locations, hilltops especially, where the gathering of numbers of people had maximum effect and provided a clearly identifiable destination for those visiting. Marshes Hill is a piece of common land at the highest point of the parish, and significant camp meetings were still being held in this location through the 1930’s, demonstrated by the records of the Thompson family who then farmed Burnfields farm, a farm lying immediately adjacent to the hilltop. Their records indicate a camp meeting held in early June, perhaps so as not to clash with the May Camp Meeting on Mow Cop.

The family were not formally Methodist, but had Methodist sympathies and connections, and despite having to pay tithes to Horton and Brown Edge (part of the farm lay in both parishes) particularly supported the Primitive Methodists of Lask Edge. In the 1930’s the farm provided a natural base for the leaders and preachers involved in the camp meeting, and the extended family of all ages were engaged in preparations. It was an afternoon event, tea for the preachers in the farm house, and then an evening service, often continuing till dusk involving bringing out the lanterns for the pony traps on the journey home, even in June!In the 1930’s the meeting was supported by Methodists from Norton, Smallthorne, Biddulph, Knypersley, Rushton and Rudyard, and the organiser at that time was an energetic and respected local preacher from the Lask Edge chapel, Mr.Vernon Clewes.



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