Gloucestershire Places of Worship

Cromhall Chapel, Cromhall (1) (50k) Cromhall Chapel, Cromhall (2) (56k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of David Wicks
Cromhall Chapel, Cromhall
Cromhall Chapel,
Bristol Road (B4058),
Cromhall, Gloucestershire.

Cemeteries

This Chapel has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1813, and we understand it is still open.

Meetings began in Cromhall in 1813, when (to quote the chapel's website "true light sprang up by the preaching of some itinerants in a humble cottage".

These preachers were greatly influenced by Revd. Rowland Hill, who had many followers in the area. Cottage and open air meetings continued for a year or two until - under the guidance of Revd. Hill, some property to the north of the Post Office at Townwell, owned by Samuel Long, a woollen cloth manufacturer of Charfield was set aside for a Meeting House. By 1819 a Chapel and adjoining cottage were built by Mr Long, with the assistance of Mr Christopher Keeling, a local industrialist. The opening ceremony was conducted by Revd. Hill, assisted by his colleague, Revd. Theophilus Jones, minister of the Independent Chapel at Kingswood.

In 1842, a Sunday-school was built, and ownership of the property passed into the hands of a Trust, "charged with the responsibility of upkeep and ensuring that worship would be carried out in accordance with the Westminster Confession of Faith".

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/332/2/9/20) for "Cromhall Chapel" describes a building erected in 1821 which was not "separate and entire", but was used exclusively as a place of worship. There is no mention of how many sittings it had, but all were free, and it had a gallery "holding 50 persons". The average congregation was 50 at morning services, 30 in the afternoons, and 180 in the evenings, with 50 Sunday Scholars at morning classes, and 60 in the afternoons. The return was completed by Christopher Keeling, its Deacon, whose address was "Cromhall, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire". Keeling, with Samuel Long, were co-founders of the Chapel.

Its religious denomination was stated as "Calvinistic Methodist". Evidently this changed over the years, as the first available Old Map, dated 1880-1881 labels it "Independent". By 1922 however, and in 1973, it is labelled as "Congregational Church". It is believed to have been loosely affiliated to the Congregational Union, but without ever belonging to it. It now belongs to the FIEC (Federation of Evangelical Churches), and recently (2013) celebrated the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the fellowship, in 1813. It is lively and has a morning and an evening service each Sunday and a Wednesday prayer meeting as well as a ladies dining club on Tuesdays. It has around fifty members and has recently appointed a new Pastor, Kevin Wilkinson.

The latter information is by courtesy of David Wicks, who also provided the photographs, taken during the Celebrations. See also Cromhall Local History collection for David's transcription of Chapel Communicants in 1835, and a selection of Memorial Inscriptions in the Graveyard.

Denomination

Now or formerly Independent/Congregational.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Chapel is located at OS grid reference ST6975390799. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.
Last updated on 23 Dec 2013 at 08:18.

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This Report was created 11 Nov 2017 - 00:46:21 GMT from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 30 Aug 2017 at 16:10.

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