Oakengates Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform chapel

New Street, St. George's / Oakengates, Telford

Oakengates Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform chapel

Oakengates Ebenezer chapel dates from 1855. Its building was a direct result of splits in the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion over who made the decisions and you can read some of the story on Janice Cox’s Shropshire’s non-conformist chapels website here.

Like many other Wesleyan Reform societies, the Oakengates congregation later joined the United Methodist Free Church, which was established in 1857.

In 1891 the chapel was altered and renovated and around 1920 it was rebuilt. It closed in 1963.

Street View shows a bungalow on the site.

Grid ref: SJ 702109

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  • SHREWSBURY CHRONICLE, 7 September 1855, page 6.
    LAYING THE FIRST STONE OF A NEW METHODIST REFORM CHAPEL. On Thursday, the 30th August, the above interesting ceremony was performed at Pain’s Lane, near Oakengates … The building, which will be plain and rather small, after a design by Mr. Davies, is to be raised by Mr. J. Millington, of Ketley, at a cost, we believe, of £260. The work is to be superintended by Mr. J. Peplow, of Oakengates. The site selected for the chapel is beautifully situate on a rising piece of ground … The ceremony was witnessed by a large number of spectators, and was commenced by the singing of hymns and the offering of an extempore prayer. The Rev. Mr. Jones, of Hadley, then read the following paper:- ‘Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Pain’s Lane. This foundation stone was laid August the thirtieth … by the Rev. W. Griffiths, for the erection of a chapel for the use of those Wesleyan methodists who were either expelled from the Nabb society, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, because they could not conscientiously subscribe to the doings of the Conference, or who left it in disgust in consequence of twenty-one local preachers being left out of the circuit plan because they would not disconnect themselves from the Snedshill society – the trustees of whose chapel having offended the preachers by refusing to make some of the conference collections. Having worshipped in houses for the last three years under great inconvenience, they have, after much prayer … resolved upon this erection.’ Here followed a list of the trustees &c. The paper was then placed in a handsome glass bottle and deposited in the stone; after which, the Rev. W. Griffith of Derby, was requested to lay the first stone … Apparantly to the surprise of the assemblage, the rev. gentleman declined, however, to do so, stating, as his reason, that he was opposed to all forms whatever, and this amongst the number – and that not being a mason or a bricklayer, he saw no reason for taking the task out of the hands of the workmen who were present. Two bricklayers then placed the stone. Mr. Griffith then made a long address in the course of which he animadverted in strong terms upon the practices of the Wesleyan Conference; practices which, he said, were not barely honest, and which betrayed a desire to obtain a despotic priestly supremacy equal to that of the Pope of Rome himself. He warned them, however, that the Reformers were still active, and said the erection of this chapel would be a lesson they would do well to profit by. At the conclusion of the address, prayers were again offered, and the asemblage dispersed. A sum of £3 16s. 2d. was collected on the ground. In the evening, a tea party was held in Snedshill Chapel in aid of the building fund, which was very numerously attended. Appropriate addresses were made, and several pieces of music sung, during the evening.”

    By Janice Cox (14/02/2021)

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