Wiggenhall St Germans Methodist New Connexion Chapel, Norfolk

Wigg St Germans Methodist New Connexion chapel
Photo: D Secker

A stone plaque on its front elevation betrays the origin of this small edifice on Mill Road with the inscription: Wesleyan Chapel 1850. The Wesleyans in question were from Lynn’s Wesleyan Reform Association who founded several chapels locally.

Their hopes that the Wesleyan cause would soon be reformed from within were dashed, and by 1854 they had fully seceded and joined forces with the King’s Lynn Methodist New Connexion. Thereafter, all Reform chapels established by them took the title of the New Connexion.

The Mill Road chapel was also known as the Union Chapel, possibly as a result of the union of the two Methodist strands and, for practical purposes, to distinguish it from the Wesleyan chapel in the village (founded 1811).

From the 1870s the circuit faced many challenges, some of its chapels relying on other denominations for preachers. Members here worked closely with the Baptists of neighbouring Magdalen, and regularly received Baptist preachers from King’s Lynn.

The Wiggenhall Lodge of Good Templars was founded at a meeting in the chapel in 1879. For long the New Connexion had led the way in teetotalism: many here would have known the Rev George Hallett who once ministered in this circuit. He was one of the leading proponents of the temperance movement.

Chapel renovation, and a revival of sorts, took place in the early 1890s under the charismatic leadership of William Stephen, superintendent circuit minister. He was also editor of the Methodist Evangelist and successful to a degree in turning around the fortunes of the New Connexion locally, but it was not to last.

Following his departure from the district, the chapel at St Germans was reported to be disused by 1904. Two years later it had formally closed and was acquired by the parish for use as a Reading Room.

Today, the building is a private dwelling.

Sources include
Lynn Advertiser 4th March 1879
History of the Borough of King’s Lynn pub 1907 Hillen H J
Kelly’s Directories of Norfolk 1904 and 1912

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.