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Petersfield, Hants

The first Wesleyan premises were in Dragon Street, recorded in the 1851 Religious Census as seating 66.. The society was in the Guildford Circuit and came under the Alton minister. The first chapel, in New Way (now St. Peter’s Road), opened in 1870, but proved too small for the growing congregation and was replaced by the present premises in Station Road, opened in July 1903. This was one result of the establishment in 1900 of the Surrey and North Hants Mission, incorporating four circuits (Guildford, Alton, Basingstoke and Petersfield) and covering an area long known as a ‘Methodist Wilderness’. The scheme to build eleven new churches at a cost of £28,000 was strongly endorsed by Hugh Price Hughes, who presided over the stonelaying service at Station Road in October 1902, in one of his last engagements before his death. The first General Superintendent of the new Mission, William E. Sellers, lived at Godalming. The first minister, Arthur J. Summerhill, stationed at Petersfield since 1900, saw through all the transitional arrangements and in fact spent most of his remaining ministry in the locality.

On the approach of the centenary of the Station Road premises in July 2003, extensive alterations were undertaken to the church hall and kitchen, together with additional rooms and toilets.

During the summer of 1842 two ministers from the Newbury Primitive Methodist Circuit visited the Petersfield area and began missionary work in Petersfield, Buriton and East Meon. A chapel was built in Buriton in 1848, replaced in 1894. It served as the circuit church until the opening in October 1902 of the chapel in Windsor Road, Petersfield, less than 200 yards from the site of the new Wesleyan chapel. With seating for 200 persons it remained open until 1943, when the congregation joined with the Wesleyans.

In 2013 a new circuit was formed by bringing together the former Petersfield, Liphook and Haslemere Circuit, the Portsmouth Circuit and the Gosport and Fareham Circuit.

Entry written by: TLN
Category: Place

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