Registered Methodist chapels 1867

A List of places of meeting for public religious worship, certified to the Registrar General to 30th June 1867

Chapel distribution by county 1867: United Methodist Free Churches
Chapel distribution by county 1867: Bible Christians
Chapel distribution by county 1867: Methodist New Connexion
Places of meeting for public religious worship 1867

From 1852, the Registrar General was supposed to produce a list of all buildings registered for public worship (which excluded the established church). The 1867 list appears to be the only one published.   The Methodist New Connexion had 261 places of worship listed, the Bible Christians 417, the United Methodist Free Churches 817, whilst there appeared to be 59 places of worship occupied by “other” Methodist groups. By comparison the Wesleyan Methodists had 5,424 registered places of worship and the Primitive Methodists 2,879.

In interpreting the list it is necessary to remember that registration was not compulsory. As registration was valid until cancelled, however, there may be duplication: i.e.  both the old and new chapels in a place may be listed. We have also discovered that the official location, as recorded by the General Register Office, may not be the same as the name by which the chapel is commonly described in Methodist sources, or indeed by those who habitually worshipped there. There is evidence of under-reporting: the 1865 Assembly of the UMFC, for example, recorded 1144 places of worship, which suggests under-representation of about 30%.

Bearing all that in mind the three maps illustrate the strengths of the three denominations across England and Wales in June 1867. Note the three distinct patterns. The measure used is the number of the total population of a county served by each chapel which indicates the relative strengths.

Separate pages list and map the registered places of worship of the Bible Christians, Methodist New Connexion and United Methodist Free Churches in 1867 by county.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for your interest. I have worked from the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel Committee’s copy of this document. One would hope that a copyright library held a copy, but I have yet to discover any evidence. The various lists I have provided, on this site and on My Primitive Methodists, are transcriptions of the actual entries which are arranged by Registration District. This is a list of all places of worship registered on June 30th 1867, but the compilers did not choose to include the date on which each chapel was registered. The original certificates in RG70 will be of great value. but I am currently unaware of any index by location.

    By Philip Thornborow (12/04/2022)
  • Would it be possible to provide a pathway from the lists provided here to the relevant entries in the 1867 volume and some advice on how to find a copy thereof? I am hoping that the printed list will include dates of registration. This information would not only be useful in itself but provide a pathway to the original certificates in the National Archives (RG70) which are very numerous and filed in date order.

    By Geoffrey Oxley (12/04/2022)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *