Home | Search | Help
Version: 1.2

Go to WHS website

Gosport

Wesleyan baptisms were taking place in Middle Street from 1808, but this may have been in temporary premises as no other details exist before the foundation stone of a new Wesleyan Chapel, in Middle Street, (now High Street) was laid on Thursday 3rd May 1810. The building, which was square, was accessed through a narrow passageway from the High Street and according to the 1851 Religious Census seated 650.

In November 1907 the Home Missions Committee recommended that the Gosport and Fareham Circuits amalgamate snd this was formalised at a recognition service at Gosport on 9th September 1908. The Superintendent Minister’s residence was in Fareham, so a smaller manse was rented at 4 Peel Road, Gosport. Gosport is now part of the East Solent and Downs Circuit.

The last service in the High Street chapel was held in the evening on Sunday 26th December 1909, led by the superintendent minister, the Rev. W.T. Atkin. The building had already been sold for £1,030. It then became the Gosport Theatre Cinema from 1910 to 1938 and later was used as Coates’ Auction Rooms. The premises have recently been demolished and replaced by ‘Old Auction House’ flats.

The congregation met in temporary accommodation while a new church was being constructed in Stoke Road. This was built of red brick with an impressive 95 feet spire. It was opened on Wednesday 22nd February 1911 by J.G.Parham. The opening service was conducted by the President of the Conference, the Rev. J Hornabrook. The architects were well known builders of Wesleyan chapels: Gordon & Gunton, of Finsbury House, Bloomfield Street, London.

In 1989 this church suffered a disastrous fire that destroyed much of the building. It was later rebuilt, retaining the original shell but completely remodelling the interior to provide facilities that would be of more benefit to the community. The former Sunday School hall which survived the fire (along with the tower) is used as the place of worship.

The Centenary was celebrated in 2010. Among the special guests who took part in the celebrations were Lord Leslie Griffiths of Pembrey and Burry Port, the Rev. David Gamble and the Rev. John Maddern from Australia, who spent three years as the Minister at Stoke Road between 2003 and 2006.

Sources

  • Hampshire Advertiser
  • Hampshire Telegraph
  • East Solent and Downs Methodist Churches Website
  • Hampshire Record Office

Entry written by: MSB
Category: Place

Comment on this entry