Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
Methodist Church, Park Road

The old church
The church in the 1890s
The Old Church Building in Park Road, 2010

Rushden Methodists

The origins of Methodism in Rushden can be traced back to a small Society of 15 members in 1781. The building was erected in 1890 and opened in the autumn of that year, but soon proved inadequate and a new building opened 15 years later.

This is from the "Valentine Series" of postcards c 1902

Wellingborough News, 26th September 1890, transcribed by Kay Collins


As our readers well know, the Wesleyans have only been established in Rushden about two years, but have made wonderful progress, and are now numerically a fairly strong body in the town.

They have, however, been much inconvenienced in the matter of a place of worship, and, during the short period since their establishment, have had, from different causes, several changes. They have in turn utilised the old Temperance Hall, the Public Hall, and the Board School. Some time ago, however, they wisely determined to "arise and build," and having made this resolution, set about with energy to carry it into effect. A site was purchased in Park-road at a cost of £350, and Mr. Cutlan prepared plans for the erection of a place of worship, suitable for the requirements of the church. The contract price for building was £1,850, the builders entrusted with the work being Messrs E Brown and Sons, of Wellingboro’.

The foundation stones were laid on Easter Monday, and with so much expedition have the firm just mentioned carried out their work, that the chapel, though not quite completed, was sufficiently advanced to justify its being opened on Feast Sunday. It is a most comfortable and handsome structure, well lighted and with adequate heating arrangements (Marriott's system), possessing good acoustic properties, and well ventilated. It is capable of accommodating between 300 and 400 in the body of the place, and when extra room is needed the folding-doors which separate the class-room from the chapel can be easily thrown open, and sitting-room for another 200 people pro­vided, and it is estimated that when required 700 persons can be accommodated. To open the chapel the friends were fortunate enough to secure the services of an eminent member of the connexion, viz., the Rev. C. H. Kelly, ex-president, and the services were of a very successful character.

The opening services were held on Sunday, when the Rev. C. H. Kelly preached morning and evening. At the morning service there was a large attendance, the chapel being well-filled, and prior to the commencement of the devotions, the choir, which had been augmented by a number of friends from other places of worship, sang a couple of anthems, Mr. Waring presiding at the harmonium.

Wellingborough News, 3rd October 1890, transcribed by Kay Collins

NEW WESLEYAN CHAPEL—The opening services of this chapel were continued on Sunday, when the pulpit was occupied by the Rev. J. Ernest Clapham, of London. Large congregations were present throughout the day. In the morning the rev. gentleman based his remarks on Matthew xxviii, 20, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." In the evening he founded an excellent discourse upon the words found in. Luke iv., 18 and 19, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me". The preacher, after describing the circumstances under which Christ made this wonderful declaration, in the place where he was brought up and everybody knew him, said the words of the text were the manifesto or the programme of the new prophecy. After quoting Mazzini's words that Christ was the greatest revolutionary the world had ever seen, he said that while not taking Mazzini's words as literal, yet it was a revolution to set souls right, not only individually, but in the aggregate. Not only was it a social revolution, but a political one, worked on novel methods, as given the text. Proceeding, the preacher said the age had not yet come in which Christianity had been adequately conceived: it had been misconceived and different meanings put upon it. The French revolution was the result of a misconception of religion, the people judging it by Louis XIV, and his contemporaries. The same remark applied to-day, and it was through misconception that the masses of Rushden and of East London and other places were outside the pale of religion. Might it be granted that the millions might be won to it. Speaking of the many sections of the Christian church, he would say that the reason so many existed was that each saw more fully than the others some particular part of the great circumference of truth. The sects were all great divisions—army corps—each doing their own work, but not opposite forces; and the time would come when the party walls would crumble away, and all would be gathered into one fold. But one church could not represent all the truth, any more than one individual could represent all the graces. He claimed that Christianity now stood higher in the world than ever it had done before. Never were there so many earnest and determined workers as to-day. There was no charm for the masses of the people like the charm of Christianity, and if Christian people worked with kindness, gentleness, and charity, there would be such a revival as the world never saw; away with class feeling, and substitute love, the winning power of hearts. By anecdotes he illustrated the power of kindness, and in concluding an earnest discourse asked his hearers,—parents, masters, mistresses, and employers of labour, what they were doing for their servants, and entreated them to put aside all indifference and coldness, and exert their influence with those under them.—The choir sang special anthems during the day, and the amount realized was £12 3s. 6d.

Wellingborough News, 7th November 1890, transcribed by Kay Collins

New Wesleyan Chapel — A series of mission have been held at the new chapel in Park-road during the past week. The Rev. E. Davidson has conducted the mission, which included services for men only and women only.

These names are on stones around the original church
Mr T J Morgan
Miss A Wyldes
Miss F Sanders
Mr E Blott
Mrs Pressland
Miss M F Cutlan
Mr T Wetherell
Higham Ferrers Sunday School
one of the stones another stone another stone

Click on the links below to learn more about the Rushden Methodists.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the Churches & Chapels index
Click here to e-mail us