Crowland (Croyland) United Methodist Free Church, Lincolnshire

The former chapel, in the background, lies just off the beaten track and is attached to a dwelling.
Photo: D Secker

Following secession from Crowland’s Wesleyans, a building (pre-1800) in North Street was utilised as a Wesleyan Reform chapel circa 1849. This was not a separate structure, nor used exclusively for worship. A note in the 1851 ecclesiastical census reads: ‘Preachers and members expelled [by the Wesleyans] in consequence of expressing sentiments at variance with ministers in matters of discipline’.

A new, or rebuilt chapel (building extant) opened on 1st March 1854, at which the preacher was John Keed. Such was the animosity towards the Reformers that the Lincolnshire Chronicle waspishly opined: ‘At Crowland they had the modesty to solicit subscriptions from the Conference [Wesleyan] party towards the new Reform Chapel. They also pestered several respectable church families for donations and tea tickets usque ad nauseam’.

Around 1857, members joined the United Methodist Free Churches (United Methodist Church from 1907). A 1916 auction notice mentioned the property’s use as a chapel for the United Methodists at a rent of £10–0s–6d p.a. Subsequently, it was purchased by a Mr J B Smith of Peterborough for £106, who then gave it to the tenants!

The relevant Peterborough circuits were: United Methodist Free; United Methodist from 1907; and Methodist post-union. After Methodist union (1932) it dropped its sectional title to become North Street Methodist Church.

Records indicate it was still open well into the 1940s, but probably not beyond the end of that decade. It is now in private ownership.

Sources include
Census of Religious Worship 1851: Ed RW Ambler 1979
Lincolnshire Chronicle 21st April 1854
Free Methodist Manual 1899
Methodist Church Buildings: Statistical Returns 1940

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