Oakengates Bethesda United Methodist Free Church/Wesleyan Methodist chapel

Station Road, Oakengates

Oakengates Bethesda United Methodist Free Church/Wesleyan Methodist chapel

Bethesda United Methodist Free Church  was opened on 12th April 1863.  In 1878 the chapel was sold to the Wesleyan Methodists, possibly on account of the area being industrial, and very close to the railway. Ordnance Survey maps in 1880 and 1902 show the Wesleyan chapel but on the 1937 map, although the building footprint is there, it is not labelled. By the 1969 map it is labelled as an Iron Foundry. There is modern housing on the site in 2011

Ordnance Survey maps from 1880 to 1938, show that the United Methodist Free Church had a chapel in New Street, Oakengates, about a mile away.  There is a modern bungalow on the site in 2009. Was that the replacement chapel?

You can read more about it on Janice Cox’s Shropshire’s Non-Conformist chapels website here.

locations:

  • 1863 chapel: Grid ref: SJ 69739 10690.
  • 1878 chapel: Grid ref: SJ 70288 10958

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  • WELLINGTON JOURNAL, 5 July 1862, page 4.
    “OAKENGATES.
    LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE OF A NEW CHAPEL. On Monday last the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of a new chapel belonging to the United Methodist Free Churches took place at four o’clock in the afternoon, in the presence of a very large assemblage of people. A number of ministers and friends formed in procession at the independent schoolrooms (the use of which had been kindly lent for the day) and proceeded to the site of the building, which is situate near the Great Western railway station, at this place. A platform had been erected, and amongst the gentlemen who occupied it we observed the Rev. J. Caughey (from America), Rev. R. Poole (Sheffield), Rev. T. Whitehouse, Rev. J. Bowler, Rev. J. Maysey, Rev. F. Jones (pastor of the new chapel), &c., &c. The Rev. G. Jones gave out a hymn, which having been sung, the Rev. J. Maysey engaged in prayer. The Rev. R. Poole as then called upon to address the meeting … .”
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    SHREWSBURY CHRONICLE, 24 April 1863, page 6.
    “OAKENGATES.
    OPENING OF A NEW CHAPEL. On Sunday last, the opening of the new chapel in connection with the United Free (Wesleyan) Churches took place. The Rev. J. Everett, of Sunderland, preached in the morning and evening; the Rev. W. Marriott, Independent minister, of Oakengates, in the afternoon. The sum collected towards the erection of the chapel was £32 8s. The chapel is built of blue and white fire bricks, and has an imposing appearance. Attached to the chapel is a lecture or vestry room, which will contain 200 persons. The chapel will hold 300; and instead of the old-fashioned pulpit, has a rostrum, at the back of which are folding-doors opening into the vestry-room, to be made available when the chapel is overcrowded. The pews are not too high, and the whole of the woodwork is of red pine, stained and varnished. There were 350 present at the morning service, and 500 in the evening.”
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    WELLINGTON JOURNAL, 2 May 1863, page 3.
    “OAKENGATES.
    OPENING OF BETHESDA NEW CHAPEL. On Sunday last the continuation of the opening services of Bethesda New Chapel, belonging to the United Methodist Free Churches, at Oakengates, was held, when the Rev. Joseph Garside, of Manchester, preached two excellent discourses in the morning and evening, and the Rev. Thomas Skemp, Baptist minister, of Dawley-bank, in the afternoon. The collections made after the sermons amounted to £13 8s. 0d., making a total of £60 1s. 5d., which has been collected at the series of opening services held in this chapel. We understand the Rev. Mr. Guttridge will preach in the chapel on the evening of the 20th May next, and collections made towards the building fund.”
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    UNITED METHODIST FREE CHURCHES MAGAZINE, 1864, page 406.
    “WELLINGTON CIRCUIT. OAKENGATES – BETHESDA CHAPEL.
    On Sunday, April 24th, the first anniversary sermons in connection with this place of worship, were preached, by the Rev. Joseph Garside, of Manchester, morning and evening; and by the Rev. F. Hemus, Baptist minister, of Donnington Wood, in the afternoon. On the following Monday evening, a lecture was given by the Rev. J. Garside, on ‘Life and its Objects’; the Rev. W. Marriott, Independent minister of Oakengates, occupied the chair … The congregations were excellent, and the sum of £26 was collected towards liquidating the debt on the chapel … “.
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    WELLINGTON JOURNAL, 25 June 1878, page 1.
    “BETHESDA CHAPEL, OAKENGATES.
    The above chapel, having been purchased by the Wesleyan Methodists, will be opened by them for DIVINE WORSHIP. TOMORROW (SUNDAY), JUNE 16th. TWO SERMONS WILL BE PREACHED BY THE REV. JOSHUA PREISTLY, of Chorley, formerly Minister in Wellington Circuit … “.
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    By Janice Cox (19/02/2021)

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