Loughborough, Woodgate Wesleyan Reform/Methodist New Connexion Chapel, Leicestershire

In March 1851 the “expelled Wesleyans” acquired some land opposite Paget & White’s Warehouse. In May foundation stone for a Wesleyan Reform chapel was laid. The building was to be 36 feet by 50 feet and high enough to insert a gallery when required. The architect was G W Stephenson and the estimated cost of the land and building £1000. The chapel was opened in September. By 1877 The Wesleyan Reformers, now part of the United Methodist Free Church had moved to the former Baptist Chapel in Sparrow Hill (qv). In the same year the Methodist New Connexion was using a chapel in Woodgate. By 1901 their property consisted of a chapel and a schoolroom. The land, buildings, and enlargements had cost £1000 and the organ a further £150. There was seating for 425 in the chapel and for 150 in the schoolroom. The chapel had been closed by 1924, probably through merger with Sparrow Hill after the creation of the United Methodist Church. We cannot be sure that the Wesleyan Reform chapel and the New Connexion chapel were the same building but the circumstantial evidence is compelling. In recent years the Woodgate area has been fully redeveloped and the site of the chapel is probably now a car park.

Sources

Leicestershire Mercury, 22/3, 31/5, 6/9 1851

W White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Leicestershire and Rutland, 1877, p 503

Leicestershire Record Office 16D60/31 Methodist New Connexion /Return of Trust Estates/as presented in / Special Schedules, January 1901

Leicestershire Record Office N/M/207 United Methodist Special Trust Schedules, 1924

Site visit 17.4.2019

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