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Uppingham, Rutland

In December 1817 Charles Peach of High Street East registered his schoolroom for religious worship and from then on Uppingham appeared in the records of the Melton Mowbray Circuit. Its first baptisms were recorded in December 1818 and 13 members were recorded in 1819. The Peach family played a significant part in the establishment of the society and the building of the first chapel in 1819/20, having come to Uppingham from Deenethorpe, Northants by 1802. But by 1829 they had moved on and were living in Newborough. John Drake, a stonemason, was another of the trustees of the chapel and his family were active members throughout the century.

Uppingham became part of the new Oakham Circuit in 1825 and by 1835 had fifty members. At the time of the Religious Census in 1851, the chapel was reported as having 130 sittings plus 64 free ones, with attendances of 50 adults at the morning service and 150 in the evening. The chapel was enlarged in 1872 by bringing forward the front wall in line with the adjacent cottages and so adding a further 50 seats to the accommodation. A schoolroom was added in 1887 (now the meeting room and kitchen). Following Methodist Union in 1932, Uppingham again became part of the Melton Mowbray Circuit in 1935. During World War II, Kingswood School was evacuated to Uppingham. The school chaplain, Rupert E. Davies, and other members of staff played a full part in chapel life, helping to revitalise it at a low period.

In 1997 Uppingham became part of the Stamford and Rutland Circuit. A further major refurbishment was completed in 1999, 'a new building for a new millennium'. At the time of the 2017 Bicentenary of the society the membership was 43, but with many more attending.

Sources

  • J. Gill, History of Wesleyan Methodism in Melton Mowbray and the Vicinity (Melton Mowbray, 1909)
  • Margaret Stacey, The Story of Uppingham Methodist Church (2001)
  • The Story of the Twin Boards - Uppingham Methodist Church and Kingswood School 1939-1946 (2005)

Entry written by: MS
Category: Place

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