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Wiltshire Community History

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Methodist Chapel, George Street, Warminster

Methodist Chapel, George Street, Warminster Date Photo Taken 1911
Uploaded 27/05/2003 08:30:05
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Original Media Location: Warminster History Society

In 1753 Methodist preachers held services in cottages on the Common while John Wesley preached in Warminster in 1758. No group was formed until 1770 when they met in Back Lane in a house that was licensed for meetings in 1773. They met with cruel persecution and the society was dissolved in 1776. From 1780 a group of poor people met privately in the town. In 1789 they obtained a room for prayer meetings and scripture readings only and until 1804 all Methodists in the town attended the parish church. In that year a Methodist chapel was built in Chain (now George) Street.

In 1818 there was internal dissent among members, some were expelled and others left (later setting up the chapel on Warminster Common), leaving only about half the orginal congregation. By 1829 numbers had increased to 200 but had decreased to 92 in 1835. The congregation recovered sufficiently by 1861 to rebuild the chapel, designed by W.J. Stent. There was no central inner door, which was a problem for funeral services, and this was not altered until 1976 when a false ceiling was also built to conserve heat. On 4th September 1983 the Methodists merged with the United Reform Church, meeting in the George Street Chapel.

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