Chippenham: An 1842 account of chapels in the Chippenham circuit
The Primitive Methodist Magazine for 1842 contains an anonymous account of chapels in the Chippenham circuit.
“AN ACCOUNT OF CHAPELS IN THE CHIPPENHAM CIRCUIT.
1. Chittoe is a neat little chapel, built with brick, twenty-four feet by fifteen in the clear. The walls are eight feet high to the wall-plate, and ceiled up from the rafters so as to make it eleven feet from the floor to the ceiling. It has a boarded floor, and four sash windows, two on each side, four feet by two and a half. And instead of weights and pulleys, the top sash is fastened to the bottom one with brass hinges, so as to fall inside at pleasure, for the admission of air. The land was given by Mr. Breach, and the hawling was done by him and Mr. Miles, free of charge. The whole cost was seventy two pounds twelve shillings. Towards this was raised, by the collections at the foundation sermon, the opening services, and by private subscriptions, sixty pounds five shillings and eight-pence halfpenny ; leaving a debt upon the chapel of twelve pounds six shillings and three-pence halfpenny. There are no pews; but there are eleven seats with backs to them, all of which are let, and bring in quarterly about fourteen shillings and sixpence. It was opened for the worship of God on Sunday, Oct. 4, 1840. The preachers on the occasion were O. Pullen, in the morning, Mrs. Orchard, in the afternoon, (who preached out of door, the people not being able to get inside,) and E. Foizey preached in the chapel in the evening. The attendance is very good; frequently more than can be seated,
2. Stockley.—The plan and materials of this chapel are the same as the one at Chittoe, excepting that this is only twenty feet by fifteen in the clear. The farmers in the neighbourhood very kindly sent their teams to convey the materials, so that the expense in this department was a mere trifle. The whole cost, including the writings, one pound for the ground, and ten shillings for a tree which stood upon the premises, was seventy-six pounds eighteen shillings and sixpence. Towards this, by subscriptions, &c., the sum of thirty-three pounds five shillings and three half-pence has been raised. The trustees have taken up forty pounds on interest, and there are outstanding bills to the amount of three pounds thirteen shillings and four-pence half-penny. On Sunday, September 5, 1841, it was opened for Divine service; Mr. Wilshaw, from Bath, preached in the morning and evening, and Mr. Reynolds, from Poole, in the Brinkworth circuit, in the afternoon. The “GOLDEN System” was introduced on the occasion, and the sum of ten pounds was promised for the first anniversary. The chapel, which is made Connexional, is well attended, and appears likely to be soon too small.
3. Seend Cleeve.—The house occupied by the P. Methodists in this place was tolerably large, and generally filled; but it was rather low, which made it not quite so comfortable as could be desired. But we could not remain in it quiet and undisturbed; the newminister who had come to the church was fully bent upon putting a stop to it altogether; and accordingly applied to the woman who lived in the house (a widow) for that purpose. He told her she was encouraging wickedness to take such people into her house. She replied, “Sir, I did not take them in; it was they that took me in.” She lived in the house, and paid part of the rent, the society paying the other part. The clergyman understanding this, asked if she would turn them out, providing he would pay part of the rent. A person in the neighbourhood who had some free land of his own, hearing of the circumstance, offered to give a piece of land for the purpose of building a chapel, if the society liked to accept of it. The offer was accepted, the ground secured, and a chapel, twenty-five feet by eighteen in the clear, was erected. The walls are of stone, thirteen feet high; and being ceiled up to the rafters, so as to clear fifteen feet between the floor and the ceiling, there is room to put up an end gallery, if wanted. There four circular-headed windows, two in the pulpit end, and two in one side. The seats are forms with backs; and as the charge is small, they all let easily, and bring a quarterly one pound one shilling and eightpence. The cost altogether amounted to eighty-two pounds one shilling and sixpence and there has been raised by subscriptions, &c., &c., the sum of twenty-four pounds one shilling and sixpence, leaving a debt upon the chapel of fifty-eight pounds. Much praise is due to Mr. Flower for the interest he has taken in its erection; having done the whole of the hawling free, excepting a few bricks. This place for public worship was opened on Sunday, September 26, 1841. Mr. Pope, from Motcombe, preached two excellent sermons on the occasion; one in the morning, and the other in the evening; and E. Foizey preached in the afternoon. The day was unfavourable, being so very rainy: nevertheless the congregations were large, and the collections quite equalled our expectations. The “GOLDEN System” was introduced, and six pounds were promised for the first anniversary. Both congregation and society are improving, and appear in a way to do well. The chapel is secured to the Connexion.
4. Chippenham.—The anniversary sermons for our chapel here were preached by Messrs. Heath and Parsons, from the Brinkworth circuit, on Sunday, October 31, 1841, when, owing to the “GOLDEN System” being introduced the year previous, we realized nine pounds two shillings at the collection; the usual amount, on these occasions, being about two pounds; so that we were the gainers of at least seven pounds. The system, on the present occasion, was again introduced with considerable success; and twenty pounds and upwards were promised for the anniversary of 1843. During the last two years we have paid off twenty-one pounds, and also think of paying off eight or ten pounds by June next.
transcribed by David Tonks
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1842 Pages 377-379