Chapel opening drew the crowds

Brown Cow and Methodist Chapel Middle Rasen
Brown Cow and Methodist Chapel Middle Rasen

EXACTLY 100 years ago today, August 3, villagers and Methodists from across the district gathered at Middle Rasen for the opening of a new chapel.

Although well documented in these pages before, it seemed only fitting that this monumental occasion for such a significant building should be again highlighted on its centenary.

The site for the new Weslyan Central Chapel had been purchased the previous October; formerly occupied by The Brown Cow public house, a quaint old thatched building, and a blacksmith’s shop.

Foundations for the new chapel used 40,000 bricks from the old Weslyan Chapel in the village’s Chapel Street, now Church Street.

While the chapel was being built, the congregation met in the Club Room above the blacksmith’s shop, which was sold in 1913.

The cost of the building was just over £1,686.

Sewing teas had raised £400 before the building started and by the opening 865 had been raised; this meant there was a deficit of £771 to be paid off in the following years.

A reporter on the day described the new chapel:

“The new building was erected by Messrs J H Holmes and Son of Wragby and consists of a commodious chapel, with a large schoolroom on the north side and two useful vestries at the rear (the east end).

“A porch at the north-west corner gives access to the schoolroom and the chapel and the building throughout is heated by hot water pipes and radiators.

“The structure is of brick and slate, the facing bricks being from Barton.

“The lighting is by means of cathedral windows.

The chapel provides accommodation for about 200 and, by the removal of a screen separating the chapel from the schoolroom, further accommodation is provided for at least another 130 persons.

“The seats are of pitch pine and the rostrum is a very fine piece of work, and is constructed of pitch pine, polished mahogany, huon pine and Tasmanian black wood.

“Round the greater part of the building is an iron and brick fence, and at the north-west corner are the main entrance gates, which are of wrought iron, and painted green and gold, and a broad asphalted path leads up to the chapel door.” (Chapel 75th anniversary booklet).

l What are your memories of Middle Rasen Chapel?

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