Paignton (Palace Avenue) Methodist Church

Palace Avenue, Paignton, Devon, United Kingdom

To Grow in Grace

1870 - A time to love

The chapel settled into a period of consolidation and growth.

There were twice-weekly prayer meetings and weekly Class meetings. The Lovefeast was an important element of church life. Members gave their personal testimonies and there was an opportunity for those young in the Faith to learn from their brothers and sisters in Christ. Polsham Road also joined the rest of the Circuit in the quarterly Fast Day which was a feature of Methodism.

The first record of both Good Friday and Christmas Day services date from 1871.

The membership was growing. Within the first ten years contributions quadrupled. Even so, the deficit still stood at £360 when, in 1876, it was resolved to extinguish the debt. Subscription books were issued. The Trustees never allowed fiscal deficiencies to curtail spiritual progress. Seat Rents produced £13.17.6 for the year and an annual collection brought in £17.1.3. Lighting, heating and cleaning cost £5.0.3. and the Chapel Keeper's salary was raised from £2.10s to £3.10s. The debt was reduced each year by sums between £50 and £100.

There were now three Classes, led by Messrs Fogwell, Patterson and Lambshead. Each Quarter saw an increase in membership and a further group of those "on trial".

Following Methodist tradition, contributions were made each year to Wesleyan Schools, General Chapel Fund, Wesleyan Education Fund, Home and Overseas Missions and the Theological Institute, as well as the unfortunately-named "Worn Out Ministers Fund". It would seem that the burdens of the clergy were just as great last century Methodist publications were obtained through the Minister. The Polsham Chapel regularly ordered several copies of the Sunday School magazine, Minutes of Conference, Temperance magazine and Clarkes Comment. The first Minister, the Revd Bourne was appointed in 1875.

The Society was outgrowing its modest chapel. In 1879 a school room was added. The chapel had been enlarged with the addition of a gallery. It would now seat 300. In order to pay for their Minister, a Quarterly Assessment of £17.10s was levied.

When the Trust was first formed, it included ten members from other parts of the Circuit. This was now balanced out with the appointment of Trustees from the Polsham Road Society. They were:

  • William Lambshead
  • Lawrence Pile Foale
  • John Maunder
  • William Sawyer Parker
  • William Hicks
  • Ernest Farrant
  • Robert Cullis

Most of these men continued to serve the Society for the rest of their lives.

School Rooms 1879


Copyright © Sylvia Tancock 1990 (Reproduced here with the permission of the Author)
If you wish to use any of the material please contact us first to obtain permission.

Something To Sing About

The Story of Methodism in Paignton in the Wesleyan Tradition

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