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The entrance to Chapel Lane in 2021.
Wesleyan chapelsA group of men, including John Wesley (1703–1791) and his younger brother Charles (1707–1788), at Oxford University in the 1720s systematically set about living a holy life. They were members of the Church of England but deemed 'Methodist' by their fellow students because of the methodical way in which they carried out their Christian faith. John Wesley transformed the attempted mockery into a 'title of honour' for the group.
Methodist preachers focused particularly on evangelising people who had been 'neglected' by the established Church of England, such as labourers and criminals. Early Methodism allowed women authority in church leadership, but this diminished after 1790. Initially, the Methodists merely sought reform within the Church of England, but the movement met considerable hostilities from the 'estabished' clergy. After John Wesley's death in 1791 what had been an evangelical revivalist strand of the Church of England became a separate denomination. By 1842 membership had increased to almost 80,000 with 500 travelling preachers and more than 1,200 chapels.
Although Methodists came from all walks of life – including the aristocracy – the movement became most associated with the middling and working classes. Indeed in 1812 a breakaway movement called the Primitive Methodists concentrated their mission on working-class mining and agricultural communities, while the Wesleyans remained focused on the more affluent and influential urban population. The two 'strands' eventually merged in 1932.
Barrowby's two Wesleyan chapels
The first Methodist chapel in Barrowby was erected in 1833. In 1835 it was doubled in length and a small gallery erected (presumably at the western end). It is shown on late nineteenth century maps as the Wesleyan Chapel. Sometime after 1932 the name changed to 'United Methodist Free Chapel'.
If you know when this chapel closed please email me:– firstname.lastname@example.org. Was it converted to a house? Was it demolished?
Confusingly a second chapel, known as the United Reformed Chapel, was built a few yards further north in 1853. Substantial repairs were needed in 1864. In the twentieth century (seemingly 1928) this building, now quite dilapidated, was sold for £35 and adapted for use as a garage and for storage. In 1979 it more-or-less survived (Cryer 1979 p30). (Note the relevant Lincolnshire Heritage Environment Record seemingly conflates the two near-adjoining chapels, as one was certainly extant post-1928.)
L.R. Cryer names a number of the members of the two chapels in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Cryer 1979 p29–30).
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Articles about BarrowbyBarrowby's location and geology
Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Articles and web links for nearby places
rare seventeenth fonts at Muston, Bottesford and Orston from Project Gargoyle Newsletter 2020
Ironstone quarries of Leicestershire
The Grantham Canal
Croxton Kerrial manor house excavations