Madeley Methodist New Connexion chapel

Park Street, Madeley

Madeley Methodist New Connexion chapel

A site for a Methodist New Connexion chapel in Madeley was bought in 1855. Bethesda Chapel was built in 1859-60 by Mr Barker. . The total cost of the land and the chapel was £330.

The chapel was completely renovated in 1898,  closed in 1901, re-opened in 1902 and finally closed again in 1906-7. It became a cinema in October 1910. The cinema closed in 1959.

Although you would not recognise it as a  former chapel, it still exists: Street View shows it first in commercial use, then as a house.

Photographs of the chapel may be seen on Janice Cox’s Shropshire’s Non-Conformist chapels website here.

Grid ref: SJ 69150 04281

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    … We are also happy to state that, we have commenced operations towards the erection of the intended new chapel at Madeley. Our way seems clear, and the trustees purpose to have it ready for Divine service before next Conference.”
    The want of a chapel at Madeley has long been felt by some of our best friends in this circuit. About four years ago a piece of land was purchased in Park-lane, at the northern extremity of the town. The site is considered a good one, there being a large population, and no place of worship anywhere near … a body of trustees formed, and about £100 promised … the first stone was laid November 7th … a large and respectable concourse of people assembled to witness the interesting ceremony. The Rev. S. Smith gave out the hymn … Prayer being offered by Mr. John Morgan, the Rev. S. Smith read the 84th Psalm … Mr. Heaford then presented a trowel and mallet to Mr. Pilling of Bolton, who, after placing a bottle containing a plan of the circuit, a list of the names of trustes, the builder’s name, &c. in a cavity of the stone, proceeded to lay it in the usual manner … The friends then adjourned to the Court-room, in the lower part of Madeley, where about 220 sat down to an excellent tea … The speaker, in strong terms, expressed his disapproval of chapel debts … He then read a list of subscriptions promised towards the new erection. The various sums given and promised make a total of about £100. The Chapel Committee promises £50, on the condition that no debt remains. As the chapel will cost at the least £310, there is yet to raise £160 … The meeting was afterwards addressed by Messrs. I. Guy, J. Morgan, W. Heaford, E. Spragg, and T. Evans. The friends separated about nine o’clock, highly pleased with what they had seen and heard.”
    The opening services of this beautiful chapel were conducted by the Revs. W. Cooke, J. Poxon, T. Mills, S. Smith, and Mr. Marston, on June 6th, the 10th, and 17th, 1860. The services were deeply interesting, and the collections were first-rate — £60! The entire cost of Bethesda, including the purchase of the land, is £330; and our promised receipts towards this sum, with the Conference grant, are £300, leaving us deficit £30, which sum we hope soon to raise by the generosity of our friends … Our chapel will seat 250 persons; its length is 40 feet by 29 feet. It is now four months since our Bethesda was opened for Divine worship, and bless the Lord, some souls have been converted. The young flock to this house, and we hope soon to reap a rich harvest of souls. Amen.”
    WELLINGTON JOURNAL, 15 October 1898, page 7.
    “METHODIST NEW CONNEXION CHAPEL. This place of worship, which has been closed for renovation purposes during the past four weeks, was re-opened on Sunday. Sepcial sermons were delivered to good congregations morning and evening by the Rev. P. Wycherley of Dawley. In the afternoon a service of song, entitled “The River Singers” was rendered by the choir, which had been augmented for the occasion, in a very efficient manner; the connective readings being taken by Mr. Southouse of Madeley Wood. Miss Pace presided at the harmonium. Collections were made at thc close of each service in aid of the Renovation Fund.”

    By Janice Cox (06/02/2021)

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