Peldon Wesleyan Chapel History

Peldon Wesleyan Chapel - 1893
Later - Peldon Wesleyan Methodist Chapel -
Finally - Peldon Methodist Chapel 1933

The Essex Records Office hold, under their references C741 and D/NM 2/5/1 a total of three books and one folder of papers for this Chapel including a Treasurers Account Book and a Minute Book , these are all very small hand-written notebooks which containing many entries that are mundane monthly accounts often of little interest. e.g. cleaner's charges, minor repairs, heating costs etc.

The reference D/NM 2/5/1 Treasurers accounts 1893 - 1943 shows a sum in 1943 of £37.4s.3d by the Treasurer R W Cullingford.

The last entry in the main account book was made in 1951 and then a "new book" was used. This was a very small red notebook the size of a postcard which contained the account figures up to 31st August 1970. The sum of £25.02 was the final amount held in the account at that time.

The first meeting of the Proposed Trustees was held at West Mersea on 27 April 1893 with Rev O E Coleman in the Chair. Messrs Locke, Sands, Folkard, Mason, Rainbird, Heap, Arthur Nightingale and Cullingford of Colchester, Mr Ponder of Peldon Messrs Isaac and Benjamin Pullen, Brand of Mersea and Moles of Peldon.

The proposal was for the erection of a Wesleyan Chapel at Peldon which was to be built of brick with a slate roof, to seat 120 persons at a cost not exceeding £250.

The land had been purchased off Mr Nightingale (* see Note 1 below) for the sum of £20. (first note in book)

Messrs Mason and Rainbird were appointed collectors (of funds for the project?) for Colchester and Messrs lasaac and B Pullen and Brand for Mersea and Peldon.

The Mersea members of the proposed Trust resolved to meet the Peldon Friends on Thursday May 4th 1893. This page is signed by E O Coleman.

Subsequent Meetings are held on 19 June 1893, and 28 June 1893 which incorporates a copy letter inviting tenders for the proposed building dated 20 June 1893.

The first entry in the Minute book is dated July 10th 1893 on the occasion of the first meeting held.

There is very little detail given regarding the progress or otherwise of the Chapel, mostly recording repairs or changes to the furnishings etc. The book is small and thin so not a comprehensive item full of interest.

A Special Meeting of the Trustees of The Peldon Methodist (formerly Wesleyan Methodist) Chapel at Peldon in the Colchester Circuit is held on 15 May 1933, Chaired by Rev John Andrews Asquith Baker - Superintendent Minister.
Present are Mr A W Nightingale and F C Mole. It is stated that several Trustees have died (giving names) and certain remaining trustees wish to retire and be discharged from the Trust. Also noted are the people willing to continue and those who are members of the Methodist Society who are willing to serve as Trustees, giving names and addresses.
Finally there is a list of the New Trust formed in 1933, however several of those names have the word "died" in a lighter ink and different hand written beside their names!

I found no paperwork to indicate when the Chapel finally closed in these files. However the Chapel was demolished and new houses built on the site in about 1970.

Note 1
Arthur William Nightingale who sold the land to the Trustees in 1893 and went on the become a serving Trustee had been born in Colchester in 1873. In the 1911 Census he lives at 60 North Hill, Colchester and is a Clothier. The house has 12 rooms and his wife, Florence Sarah, Mother Sara and sister Emily are all residents there. Arthur William Nightingale died on 17 December 1961 at Kerry Croy, 145 North Station Road, Colchester. He and his wife who survived him had no children.

Many of the Trustees and the original proposers of the Chapel were respected, influential and successful business men of their time, clearly determined to offer country residents an alternative doctrine to that of the Church of England and yet less "strict" than that of many Baptists.

Author: Carol Wyatt
ID: CGU_BK1_009
Source: Mersea Museum / Carol Wyatt