Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Trym Road Methodist Church (now River of Life Christian Centre), Westbury on Trym
Trym Road Methodist Church (now River of Life Christian Centre),
26 Trym Road,
Westbury on Trym, Gloucestershire.


We believe the Church did NOT have 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 1850, but we understand it was closed in 1930.

Trym Road Methodist Chapel, is described by Phil Draper, on his ChurchCrawler website as "a very pretty building". It is built of grey limestone with sandstone dressings, having a round-arched Venetian window above the central doorway, and sides of closely spaced lancet windows, with small rectangular panes, giving it a "cottagey" look. The adjoining cottages, on the right, so Phil says, were built as schools, though this is not immediately apparent in the present day.

It was built in 1846, originally as a Baptist Chapel, but was taken over in the 1850s, by a group of Wesleyan Reformers, who broke away from Westbury on Trym's Wesleyan Chapel, on Westbury Hill. The schism is reflected in the return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/330/5/1/8) for a place of worship with no name for a congregation of Wesleyan Reformers - a separate building erected in 1850, and used exclusively as a place of worship with free seating for 60, and 60 "other" sittings. The estimated congregation on March 30th was 60 in the morning, and 100 in the evening, the return being completed by James Giles, Chapel Steward, of "Slo. Cottages, Redland, Near Bristol".

The move to the Baptist Chapel evidently occurred after 1851, as there was a separate return for a Baptist congregation (HO 129/330/5/1/7), meeting in a building erected in 1846.

The story continues into the 20th century, when - according to the present-day Westbury on Trym Methodist Church website, "as early as 1903 the Trym Road congregation was wondering whether to re-unite with the Wesleyans with whom they were on good terms ... [but] it was not until 1930, two years before National Methodist Union, that the delicate operation of uniting the two congregations took place".

Phil Draper's account says it was a labour exchange from the 1930s, but in the 1980s became once again a place of worship - 'The Beacon' Gospel Church. It is now (2012) the home of the "River of Life Christian Centre", with a congregation (according to Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010)) of "Free and Independent Christians".


Now or formerly Wesleyan Reform.

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


This Church was located at OS grid reference ST5738177427. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Westbury on Trym, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 9 Feb 2014 at 13:02.

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This Report was created 13 Aug 2022 - 11:20:56 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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