OLD DEVONPORT . UK
www.olddevonport.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 19, 2016.
Webpage updated: February 19, 2016

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SAINT BUDEAUX WESLEYAN METHODIST CHAPEL

The Saint Budeaux Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was on the north side of Vicarage Road.

It seems that the first place at Saint Budeaux where the Wesleyan meetings took place was in a building on the end of Millbrook Cottages.  This was registered in 1858 by Mr Thomas Knight, superintendent shipwright at the Royal Dockyard.  It became very dilapidated and inadequate for that use, prompting several prominent members of the congregation to look for an alternative site upon which to build a brand new Chapel.  An elevated site alongside what was then the old Saltash Road was given to them by Mr Newby Spooner.

With plans prepared by Mr  W J Carder, an architect from Millbrook, Cornwall, and a tender accepted from Messrs Paynter & Davy of Bedford Place, Plymouth, the memorial stones for the building were laid on Wednesday December 7th 1892.  The day was apparently very cold and unpleasant but a large gathering from Saint Budeaux, Devonport and Ford opened the proceedings with the hymn "These stones to Thee in faith we lay".  The circuit choir was directed by Mr Davis.

After a prayer from the Reverend C Speck and a portion of the scriptures was read by the Reverend A D White, the memorial stones were declared well and truly laid.  The first was set in position by the Reverend J Felvus, standing in for Colonel Hipwell, who was unavoidably absent.  Various documents of the time were placed in a bottle that was laid beneath this stone.  Mrs Pearse laid the next stone, followed by Mr W Tonkin, Mr W F Moon on behalf of his wife, Mr T Whitby junior, and Mrs Short of Saint Budeaux.  The three remaining stones were then laid by Mr T R Hawking, Mrs W A Saunders and Mr T Squire.  It was so cold that the Reverend W Maltby, chairman and superintendent minister of the district, deferred giving the address.  Instead the gathering retired to an adjoining barn, lent by Mr J Ford, for tea.

The Chapel was dedicated at 3pm on Wednesday June 14th 1893.  It was constructed of dressed limestone, with black facings, and a porch.  The windows at the front were of stained glass while the remainder were of Cathedral tinted glass.  The roof beams were of polished pitch pine, which was also used for the rostrum and the pews.  A partition in the centre of the building divided the schoolroom from the Chapel.  There was seating for 160 in the Chapel but 200 could be accommodated at a pinch.  The schoolroom could hold one hundred children.   The building and fees had cost 725.

A prayer meeting was held first, presided over by the Reverend W T Gill.  This was followed by a service at which the Reverend W Maltby, chairman of the Devonport and Plymouth Western circuit preached.   The Saltash Wesleyan Choir, with Mr E D K Hawke on the harmonium lent by Captain Short, provided the choral music.

The weather in June being somewhat better than when the memorial stones were laid, at 5pm the gathering then moved to an adjoining field lent by Mr Cole of Saint Budeaux, where tea was served by Mesdames Short, Doidge, Bartlett, Mends, Knawles, Moon, Camp, Gregory, Jones, Martin, Truscott, Foster, Cuthbert, Hayman and Saunders assisted by the Misses Camp, Martin, Peard and Foster.

It survived until after the Second World War but had become a Royal British Legion branch meeting place.

The foundation stone of a new Methodist Chapel for Saint Budeaux was laid in September 1956 by Mr Isaac Foot.

On Wednesday October 9th 1957 the new Chapel was opened and dedicated by the Reverend David Ball, secretary of the Plymouth and Exeter District, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Alderman Leslie F Paul and Mrs K R Kitt, who represented the reverend K R Kitt, a former minister of the Chapel.  The architects, Messrs L F Vanstone & Partners, presented Mrs Kitt with the key with which to open the Chapel doors.

At the usual evening meeting held afterwards, it was stated that the cost of the building was 42,000 and the furnishings cost 4,320.  The organ had cost 985 and it was hoped to sell the old organ by the end of that week.  Much of the building cost had been funded by war damage compensation on the Gloucester Street Methodist Chapel in Devonport.