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Reports extracted from Rushden Argus
Primitive Methodist Chapel Opening

Report 06 Dec 1889

An interesting ceremony in connection with the Primitive Methodist body took place at Rushden on Saturday last when memorial stones were laid for a new Chapel in Fitzwilliam-street. The primitives are numerically the weakest amongst the religious bodies in Rushden, but not withstanding this their progress has been steady and continued and as a reward of steady and persistent work they will soon be possessed of a comfortable chapel in place of the very inconvenient and unsuitable places hitherto used for worship. The Society, which only commenced services at Rushden in 1880, at first met in a room near the Green; this place changed hands some time ago, and since then a kind of builder's shed in the Wellingborough-road has been rented. By dint of hard work, an eligible site has been purchased in Fitzwilliam-street, and though the new building will have no pretensions to greatness, yet it will suffice for the present wants of the congregation, and will also do duty as a school, while the site is ample for additions to be made as the congregation increases. The dimensions of the chapel are 30 ft. by 20, and the front of the building will be composed of red pressed bricks, with Bath stone dressings, with circular headed doorways and windows, Mr. S. Knight being entrusted with the carrying out of the work, which is estimated to cost about £250. The service on Saturday afternoon was attended by a large number of workers connected with the movement and other friends, including the Rev. G. Griffin (superintendent of the Wellingborough circuit), Rev. W. J. Tomkins, Rev. T. G. Harper, Rev. A. C. Smith, Messrs. W. Wood (master of Rushden Board Schools), S. Knight, sen., S. Knight, jun., T. Alt (treasurer), G. Wooding (secretary), Sears, Moon, W. Busby, L. Busby, A. Hustwaite, W. Saddington (Wellingborough), Wright (Raunds), Mrs Griffin, and a number of other ladies. The Rev. G. Griffin opened the service by announcing a hymn, after which the Rev. A. C. Smith offered up prayer. The superintendent of the circuit then made a short sp-eech,  in which he referred to the history of the connexion, stating in the course of his remarks that inthe year 1810 the society numbered ten members, but at the last conference their numbers reached a total of 192,000. At the conclusion of the rev. gentleman's brief address, the stones were laid, Mr. Griffin performing the ceremony in connection with the first two, in the name of friends, two guineas being laid on each stone as donations. The third one was laid by Mrs. Griffin, who laid £1.1s. upon the stone whilst the fourth was laid by Mr. Alt, on behalf of the trustees (Messrs. W. T. Busby, A. Hustwait, T. Alt, T. Wooding, J. Sears, W. Dickens,  and A. Moon), upon which subscriptions were placed, which brought the donations up to over £10. The service concluded with a hymn, and prayer by the Rev. W. J. Tomkins. A most subtantial tea was served in the Board School after the ceremony to which so large a number sat down as to necessitate two sittings. After tea the room was cleared, and at six o'clock a meeting was held, which was also well attended, presided over by Mr. G. Denton, addresses being delivered by the Rev. G. Griffin, Rev. T. G. Harper, and Rev. W. J. Tomkins, this gathering bringing to a close a memorable day in the history of Methodism at Rushden.

28th Feb 1890. Notes of the Week.

The chapel building in 2007, it is now used by the St John Ambulance Brigade
The frontage showing the arched windows
The Primitive Methodists had quite a “red letter” day on Saturday, with the occasion being the opening of their new and comfortable little chapel in Fitzwilliam-street. The congregation have been under disadvantages in regard to their former habitations, and the permanent abode to which they have now removed will be all the more appreciated. Towards the cost of the building the Rushden Methodists are expected to contribute half (£120), and about £70 of this amount has been subscribed. It is proposed to raise the remainder by means of a bazaar.

28th Feb 1890. Primitive Methodism at Rushden - Opening of the New Chapel.

A short time ago we recorded in our columns the laying of the foundation stones of the new place of worship for the above named body, and it is with great pleasure we now announce its completion. As our readers are aware, this small but energetic body of worshippers have had no home of their own during the time they have been established in Rushden, and it is owing largely to their inability to obtain a suitable building wherein to worship that they determined to “arise and build”. The new chapel now occupied was designed and erected by Mr. Samuel Knight, jun., and is a most comfortable place of worship. The front is of red pressed bricks, with Bathstone dressings, and arched windows, whilst the interior is fitted with moveable seats, and the walls are fitted with a skirting board all round, stuccoed and black-lined above. The rostrum is fixed on the east side. The dimension of the chapel is 30 feet by 20, and will accommodate about 150 persons. The opening service was held on Saturday afternoon, being conducted by the Rev. W. J. Tomkins, pastor of the Old Baptist Meeting, and the attendance, though not very large, owing probably to the inconvenient hour at which it was held, included friends from Wellingborough, Irchester, Hargrave and other places; Rev. G. Griffin, superintendent of the circuit, and Mr Samuel Knight, jun. (architect and builder) also being amongst those present. The service commenced with the hymn “Lord of the Worlds above”, Master Wooding presiding at the instrument. The dedicatory prayer was then offered by the Rev. W. J. Tomkins, followed by the hymn commencing “Behold the temple of our God”. A very appropriate sermon was then preached by Mr. Tomkins, founded on the words “Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world”. (Matthew xxviii., 20). The collection amounted to 17s.1d. After the service tea was provided in the Board School, to which about 120 friends sat down. At 6.30 a public meeting was held in the chapel, which was well filled, the chair being occupied by Mr. Peck, of Strixton, who was supported by the Rev. W. J. Tomkins, Rev. T. G. Harper, and the Rev. G. Griffin. The meeting was opened with singing and prayer, after which the Chairman delivered a short speech, in the course of which he remarked that the Primitive Methodists had been somewhat pushed about and this had been the cause of the erection of the present building. He urged them to pray earnestly and work  unitedly, and the building would soon be too small for their wants.

Rushden Argus, 28th February 1890, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Primitive Methodists had quite a “red letter” day on Saturday, the occasion being the opening of their new and comfortable little chapel in Fitzwilliam-street. The congregation have been under disadvantages in regard to their former habitations, and the permanent abode to which they have now removed will be all the more appreciated. Towards the cost of building the Rushden Methodists are expected to contribute half (£120), and about £70 of this amount has been subscribed. It is proposed to raise the remainder by means of a bazaar.


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