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Band Room Methodists

A group of Revivalist Methodists in Manchester. In 1798 John Broadhurst, a prosperous draper and member at Oldham Street WM chapel, took out a licence for a meeting house in North Street, which became known as the Band Room. Despite its semi-autonomous character, North Street appeared on the circuit plan and successive superintendents supplied it with preachers. Jabez Bunting preached his trial sermon there.

Conflict between the Band Room and the Manchester Circuit arose repeatedly over three issues in particular: (1) failure to submit to theLeaders\' Meeting, (2) admission of non-members to class and bandmeetings and (3) the disorderly character of meetings which were not entirely under the preacher's control. Finally an ultimatum was given - either to conform to WM discipline or separate from the Methodist body. Separation was chosen and the Band Room Methodists constituted themselves as a 'Methodist Independent' Church in February 1806. By 1808 they had five preaching rooms in Manchester, with 493 members and nine preachers. Many of the original founders returned to WM within a few years, but the new Church joined Independent Methodismand its successors continue under that name to the present day.

Sources

  • T.P. Bunting and G. Stringer Row, The Life of Jabez Bunting (1859)
  • IM Magazine, 1908
  • J.C. Bowmer, Pastor and People: a study of Church and Ministry in Wesleyan Methodism 1791-1858 (1975), pp.71-74

Entry written by: JAD
Category: Denomination

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