Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Mehodist Chapels

Methodist Church, Broughton
As we have just celebrated Easter it may be just the time to feature Methodist Chapels, so here is the one in Broughton in Furness, Cumbria.  If  passing by on a Tuesday then
the sign welcomes anyone to pop in for Morning Coffee.  The chapel has stood here on Princes Street since 1875 and was gifted by Nathaniel Caine (1808-1877) a Liverpool industrialist and co-owner of the nearby Hodbarrow Mines who considered the religious facilities in the area inadequate. He funded a number of nonconformist chapels in the 1860s and 1870s and although he himself was a baptist his faith was such he readily funded chapel buildings for those denominations that needed them. 

The reason there was a shortage of religious building here in the second half of the 19th Century was the large influx of workers and their families to work in the booming local industries.   The chapel cost £2,500 to build and is made of the very durable Kirkby Stone, still quarried locally.

In contrast the Marshside Methodist chapel, located in one of the hamlets that makes up the village of Kirkby
Kirkby Methodist Church
Marshside Methodist Chapel
was built in 1870 but with only the slate roof tiles from the local Burlington Quarry and the building is made of sandstone is from St Bees further up the coast. It was a similar story of workers emigrating into the area, mostly here from Wales and Cornwall.  They would come from different traditions of Methodism, the Welsh tending to be Calvanist Mehodist and those from Cornwall, Primitive Methodists but I guess they would all join together in worship here.

These simple chapels contrast with the one in Harrogate, Yorkshire,  built in 1862 and
Wesley Chapel, Harrogate
a much larger and ornate example.  The heartlands of Methodism were the north of England, Cornwall and Wales, its egalitarian message contrasting with the established church which it split from.  This like the first chapel I showed in Broughton both started life as Wesleyan Methodist Chapels.  In 1932 all the strands of Methodism reunited and today are simply called the Methodist Church of Great Britain.

The archives of the Methodist Church and  the papers of the founder of the religion John Wesley are held by the John Rylands Library of Manchester University which opened its doors in 1900 and also contains Wesley's statue alongside John Wycliff, William Shakespeare, John Dalton, William Caxton, Johannes Gutenberg and Francis Bacon. The choices of statues are explained here. This cathedral of  books has a magnificent reading room -
"The John Rylands Library" by Mdbeckwith - Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons"
Year ago I was sent on a course to the Rylands Library and I can't for the life of me remember what it was about but vividly remember enjoying my meander around the library in the lunch break.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at M here


Photo Cache said...

Impressive architectures. I'm partial to stone churches.


Roger Owen Green said...

I was a good METHODIST for a number of years!


Roger Owen Green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reader Wil said...

What is the difference between Methodism. and Calvinism?
I belong to a Calvinistic congregation, but I am a free-thinker and many people of my church are not as strict as they used to be. We have a good community in spite of all the differences.
I wish you a great week.

Gerald (SK14) said...

Nothing beats a good Methodist coffee morning!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I would enjoy a meander around that library, too. The plain churches always look best to me.
The View from the Top of the Ladder