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The earliest known Methodist preaching was at the Common in 1753. By 1758 a small group were meeting in Pound Street in the face of hostility. At their request John Wesley visited the town on 3 October and preached in the tanyard of Mr. Bowden, a member at the Independent chapel in Common Close. This was the only time he recorded preaching in the town in his Journal. Despite persecution, by 1770 14 members were meeting in Emwell Street (then Back Street). In 1773 the mob broke in, smashed the furniture, threw one member into the ditch and fatally injured another. After an interval, meetings had resumed by 1780 at Deverill Road and by 1789 in Pound Street. In September 1804 the first chapel was opened in George Street (then Chain Street). With improvements over the years and complete rebuilding in 1861, this chapel survived to celebrate its Bicentennial in 2004 and remains in use as the home of the joint Methodist/United Reformed Church.


John Wesley;s Journal

October 1758: 'One of Warminster who was at Bristol last week had desired me to call at his house. I did so this morning, and preached in his yard, to a numerous congregation of saints and sinners, rich and poor, Churchmen, Quakers and Presbyterians, both of the old and the new way. Some disturbance was expected, but there was none. The whole assembly behaved well; and instead of curses or stones, we had mny blessings as we rode through the town for Salisbury.'

Category: Place

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