Chrishall Methodist Chapel

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Backbones of Chrishall Methodist Chapel

Before the Methodist Chapel was built in 1862, meetings were held in a barn at Broad Green.

Later ‘that piece of land containing by estimation twelve perches situate at Crowley End… whereon a cottage formally stood, but whereon there has since been erected a Primitive Methodist Chapel. To all which premises the Trustees were admitted tenants on the twenty eighth day of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixty two.’

(The original Trustees were Joshua Brand, Joseph Law, John Starr, William Clarke, Thomas Pigg, Robert Brand , William Rodger, James Guiver, Joseph Clarke, Philip Roger, Richard Drayton, James Greenhill,, and William Barker.)

The document continues ‘held to them and their heirs in their lifetime by copy of Court Roll fealty suit of court and the yearly rent of one halfpenny’. Money for the purchase of the land for the building of the chapel was lent by John Starr who lived at Broad Green. This was paid back by regular payments made by a number of dedicated people. In view of the very low wages, any contributions must have represented a considerable sacrifice, and it says much for their zeal and steadfastness that the undertaking was faithfully carried out.

An indenture dated January 2nd 1915 records that ‘a piece of land at the back of the chapel was purchased from William Palmer Cowell’. The purchasers were Cornelius Miller (Assistant Overseer), Oswald Cranwell (engine driver), William Ives (farmer), Walter John Pigg (shoemaker), Robert Chambers (farmer), Albert Rogers (builder), Charles Clarke (labourer), William Hubert Brand (shepherd), Charles Flack (engine driver), George Enfield Flack and William Mustill. The piece of land here mentioned was the burial ground.

Practical expression of faith was given by ‘local preachers’ who, although they worked long hours for six days a week, walked miles to outlying villages on Sundays to preach and teach. Their names include Charles Tinworth, Charles Flack, Oswald Cranwell, Albert Rogers, Nathan Ives, Sidney Pledger, Stephen Pledger, Sidney Flack, Frederick Sigwood, Hubert Rogers, Samuel Rogers, George Flack and Frank Pigg. No-one can doubt the sincerity of these men. Most of them had received only a village school education but surely they were following an unbeatable precedent - apart from St Luke, which of the disciples were ‘educated’ men?

Written with permission from Irene Cranwell, Historian and and Fred Davies, Local History Recorder.