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Methodism in the Potteries 
Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme

 

Methodist Wesleyan


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Wesleyan Methodist chapels in the Potteries

Jubilee Chapel, Tunstall - "the Mother Church"

About 1783 a Methodist society was established at the house of Joseph Smith, attached to the Burslem society. By 1775 it had 30 members and in 1787 a fund for a chapel was raised by John Wesley, the site being given by Joseph Smith.

The chapel was erected at a cost of 650 and was opened in 1788. Wesley on visiting it in 1790 declared that it was 'the most elegant I have seen since I left Bath'.

'1790, Monday, March 29th - At nine I preached in the new chapel at Tunstall, the most elegant I have seen since I left Bath. The people seemed to devour the word."

Discontent arose in the early days of the society over Wesley's ruling that only Church of England prayers were to be used. It was more seriously disturbed from 1808 to 1813 by the growth of the Camp Meeting Movement (which led to the Primitive Methodist movement) in the area and in 1811 the society expelled its steward and Sunday School superintendent, James Steele, one of the leaders of this movement and subsequently a founder of the Primitive Methodist Connexion.

The establishment of that Connexion, however, was only a temporary setback and by 1834 the chapel was too small for the society. A new chapel in Wesley Place was then begun and officially opened in March of the following year. In 1839 it became head of the newly created Tunstall Wesleyan Circuit.  Attendance in 1851 averaged 300 in the morning and 520 in the afternoon.  In 1958 it had 176 members. The chapel had a brick pedimented front and was dated 1834 and has a stone porch of three bays supported on Roman Doric columns. In 1869 it was reseated; in 1890 new windows were inserted and in 1898 an organ was installed.


A Sunday school was started in 1799 which met until 1816 in the chapel. A school building was then erected in America Street. An additional wing was added in 1832, but in 1835 the school moved into the old chapel. In 1838 new schools near Wesley Place Chapel in Farndale Street were opened. Reading and writing were taught in the Sunday school until c. 1844 when a Wesleyan day school was established. A night school for general educational purposes in connexion with the Sunday school was established c. 1834 and lasted until 1874

From:  A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 8 (1963).

Jubilee Chapel, Wesley Street, Tunstall - "the Mother Church"
Jubilee Chapel, Wesley Street, Tunstall - "the Mother Church"

The chapel, a building in the Gothic style with a turret on its south-east side,  was then the only place of worship in Tunstall and the largest Methodist chapel in the Potteries. It stood at the corner of America Street and Temple Street (renamed to Buren Street and later to Holland Street) by the windmill.
 


Etruria Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

Meetings of Methodists in Etruria took place in private houses in the village in the late 18th century. The first Wesleyan chapel was built in 1808 in a field south of Etruria and stood on the site of the colour works of Wengers Ltd.

In 1820 it was replaced by a new chapel on the main road near the centre of the village which is still standing. This is a brick building with a classical plastered front surmounted by a pediment and a date tablet illustrated in the photos below. 

In 1851 attendance at the Wesleyan chapel averaged 140 and at the Sunday school 180. The chapel, which stands in Lord Street (now Etruria Road), seated 428 in 1940, and is a brick building with a Classical plastered front surmounted by a pediment and a date tablet.

Etruria Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, dated 1820
Etruria Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, dated 1820

Non-conformist chapel built 1820, two story, developed by Josiah Wedgwood



date tablet
Wesleyan Chapel 1820

more on the Etruria Methodist Chapel


Temple Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Fenton

A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in Temple Street in 1812. In 1851 it seated 300 and had an attendance on 30 March 1851 of 65 in the morning and 85 in the evening.

A new chapel (see photo below) was erected in 1873 which seated 600 in 1940. It had a membership of 166 in 1942 .

Temple Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Fenton, built 1873
Temple Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Fenton, built 1873

photo: Stoke-on-Trent Museum and Art Gallery


Swan Bank Wesleyan Chapel, Burslem


Swan Bank Wesleyan Chapel, Burslem c.1890-1895
"the Corinthian facade of the Wesleyan Chapel"

Description: "Three times on a Sunday - morning, afternoon, and Chapel at night..."
The first Wesleyan Chapel was built in the Potteries in 1766.
This was replaced by Swan Bank Chapel, shown in the photograph, in 1801.
In 1816 it was enlarged to seat 1290 people, before eventually being replaced in 1971.

photo: Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
Staffordshire Past Track


Botteslow Street Wesleyan Chapel, Hanley

An iron chapel was erected in Botteslow Street in 1880 by Isaac Dixon, a mineral-water manufacturer. There was a Sunday school by 1890 when permission was given to enlarge it.  The present chapel was built in 1906. It seated 200 in 1940

Botteslow Street Wesleyan Chapel, Hanley
Botteslow Street Wesleyan Chapel, Hanley
built - 1906


 


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