Methodist Chapels in Ropley

The Privative Methodist Chapel, Vicarage Lane, Ropley

By the end of the 19th century the cult of John Wesley had increased throughout Wessex more than any other nonconformist sect, and in Ropley it seems to have been the only one to have had any following. The Methodist chapel was some distance from the village centre, at the junction of Gilbert Street and Andrews Lane, at that time called Chapel Lane. A footpath existed across the fields from the village pond. The pastor at this time was A. Lowe.

During the summer months Gospel Tent meetings were held in Hammonds Lane, in the Recreation Ground and by the village pond. The most enthusiastic members of the local congregation were Mr J. Miller and Mr J. Goodall, who led a movement towards the erection of a new chapel. In about eighteen months the local congregation had raised a sum of £200, and the new building was erected in Vicarage Lane opposite the Recreation Ground at a cost of £600. It was opened on 21st January 1909, by Miss Scott, sister of the Rev G. Scott of Winchester. The active membership of the Primitive Methodist Church in Ropley was little more than thirty, none of whom could be considered wealthy.

The old chapel was sold and converted into a private house, now known as Eleanor House. Another chapel existed at Charlwood but its congregation gradually dwindled, and it became derelict and was demolished.

After the Second World War it was doubtful if the chapel in Vicarage Lane could pay its way, but the efforts of its small following kept it alive. A youth club was formed to bolster social activities and provide something towards its finances. At this time there was a general movement towards co-operation between the Methodists and the Church of England, and exchange visits were sometimes made on Sundays. The Ecumenical Movement eased the problems of the small Methodist congregation and it decided to sell the chapel. This was done, and its site is now occupied by a new dwelling house and the congregation was absorbed into that of the parish church.

Comments about this page

  • Brian – as explained today unfortunately we don’t yet have a photo of the Charlwood chapel

    By Carole Oldham (11/05/2023)
  • anyone got a picture of Charwood chapel demolished in 60’s or 70’s?

    By b. j. lawes (06/05/2023)

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