Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 18, 2016.
Webpage updated: February 18, 2016

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The original Stoke Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built in Tavistock Street, Stoke, in about 1820.

As it held only about 150 worshippers, by the late 1860s this was found to be inadequate and people were being turned away.  In 1868 the decision was taken to replace it with a larger building but it was not until 1871, under the superintendence of the Reverend Brown, that this was taken up in earnest and resulted in the construction of the Belmont Methodist Chapel.

During the 1980s some rationalisation was called for especially as the Belmont Methodist Chapel was in a poor condition.  The Reverend Peter Williamson brought together the congregations of the Belmont Methodist Chapel, the Saint George's Terrace Methodist Chapel, and the Devonport Methodist Central Hall, and organised the construction of a magnificent block of buildings on a prominent site in Stoke Village.

Designed by Mr Marc Nash, of the Architects Design Group, Plymouth, and built by Messrs Knapp Construction Ltd, the complex contains not only a modern Chapel but also two halls, four smaller meeting rooms, a coffee lounge, a doctor's surgery and sheltered housing.

The consulting engineers were Messrs Jubb & Partners; the joinery was undertaken by Messrs John Richards Shopfitters; and the electrical work was completed by Messrs AMCO Electrical Contractors Ltd, of Plymouth.

Part of the funding for the project came from the Joseph Rowntree Benevolent Trust and it was their secretary, Mr Paul G Bartlett Lang, who officially opened the Chapel on Saturday February 17th 1990.

Amongst those present at the ceremony was Mrs Phyllis Steer, whose great-grandparents, William and Charlotte Browning, had worshipped at the original Stoke Methodist Chapel when it was in a cottage in Wesley Place at Stoke.  Their son, Mr John Browning, was Sunday School superintendent and was later married at the Belmont Methodist Chapel.  Mrs Steer was married there, too.