West Rudham Methodist New Connexion/United Methodist Chapel, Norfolk

Lynn Road, West Rudham

Advocates of Wesleyan Reform met in 1851 at the Temperance Hotel in the village. Many of the 160 attending would likely have been secessionists from the Wesleyan chapel just down the road in East Rudham. The hotel, already a venue for religious gatherings, was to be used by Reformers until a chapel was built.

A prime mover in the quest for that chapel was Annison Cannell, a baker and proprietor of the Temperance Hotel. He donated a plot for the chapel and laid the foundation stone in June 1864.

Standing on Lynn Road, it opened in the August under the auspices of Lynn’s New Connexion circuit at a cost of £230. Brick built, with stone facings, it had lancet windows in the Early English style. Interestingly, the interior (seating 100) was of “amphitheatrical form”, and so that no space be wasted, accommodation for the Sunday school was beneath the seating. This design was similar to that of the Connexion’s Tabernacle chapel in Lynn. Indeed, the Rudham chapel was often called the New Connexion Tabernacle.

Architect was J A Hillam of Lynn (a staunch Reformer), and the building contractors were J Jackson and S Butcher of Rudham. A “diminutive cottage” was built for the occupation of a preacher.

The membership remained faithful to the cause. As with the Connexion, the chapel became United Methodist in 1907. After Methodist union it was transferred to the Hunstanton and Docking circuit.

It closed sometime before the 1990s, the decade in which it was demolished.

Sources include

  • Norfolk News 15th February 1851
  • The Christian Times 18th June 1864
  • Lynn Advertiser 13th August 1864
  • Methodist Church Buildings Statistical Returns 1940

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