Downham Market United Methodist Church, Norfolk

D Secker

The Mount Tabor Chapel

Standing on Bridge Street, this is a large edifice with an imposing, if timeworn, neo-classical façade. The date stone of 1859 is set high-up on the front gable; below it, the title of the chapel (in large letters) has now completely gone.

In spite of its bigness – a gallery was erected in 1879 – the seating capacity was around 250, half that of the Wesleyan. A schoolroom, added to the rear of the building in 1865, was enlarged in 1897/8.

In 1882 a reed (pump) organ was purchased, and some thirty years later a new two-manual pipe organ was built and installed by Norman & Beard. This necessitated the removal of the pulpit to one side in order to accommodate the instrument in a central position at the front. The organ was completed and opened in February 1911. After closure it went to Little Saxham church in Suffolk.

This was the principal chapel in the Dowham UMFC/UMC Circuits. At union it became a member of the Downham Methodist Circuit and was generally referred to as the Mount Tabor chapel.

It closed c1964 when the congregations of the town’s three Methodist strands amalgamated to build the new church in Paradise Road which opened in 1966.

For many years this Grade II listed building has been used for commercial storage.

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