The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.
Methodism was founded by John Wesley in 1740 but a number of splinter groups broke away from the movement during the next century. Mainstream Methodism became known as Wesleyan Methodism and remained quite close to the Low Church Anglican style of worship, though with a completely different structure. The Wesleyans had built a chapel in Bedford Road in the early 19th century though, being on the west side of the road it was actually in the parish of Maulden, though always referred to as Clophill Wesleyan Methodist church. [BLARS]
The Wesleyan Chapel was demolished in 1937 when the A6 road was widened and realigned.
In 1853 a Primitive Methodist chapel in Luton Road (now Old Silsoe Road) was registered by John Symonds Gostling of Bedford, upholsterer.
Later used as a fire station, a tea shop and Chapel Feeds. Now demolished.
The Primitive Methodists were a major offshoot of the principal stream of Methodism - the Wesleyan Methodists - in 19th Century Britain. In the early decades of the 19th century there was a growing body of opinion among the Wesleyans that their Connexion was moving in directions which were a distortion of, not to say a betrayal of, what John Wesley had brought to birth in the 18th century. Eventually a Methodist preacher called Hugh Bourne became the catalyst for a breakaway, to form the Primitive Methodists. Probably 'primitive' was used to clarify their self-understanding that they were the true guardians of the original, or primitive, form of Methodism.
The chapel used as a firestation.
There are over 100 worshippers on the 1918 photograph and some of them have been identified by Mrs. Doris Pitts of Readshill,
Mrs. Coleman, mother of Vera Matthews, Mrs. Pitts, Mr. Jack Pitts, Tony Coleman, Ernie Osborne, Flo Everitt, Marjorie Everitt, Elsie Everitt, Muriel Coleman, later Mrs Ray Gobey, Chris Pitts, brother of Jack, Harry Garner, K. Eddy, Rose Eddy, Emily Upton (Organist), Mrs Platt, Doris Platt, and Albert Matthews.
The photograph was taken circa. 1918 and shows the members of Clophill Primitive Methodist Chapel in front of the Church which stood on the site of the bungalow at 55 High St.
The Primitive Methodist Church and land became redundant and was sold in 1938 for £250. The bungalow on the site was built in 1974 and is now known as No.55.
A new chapel in the High Street was built by the former Wesleyan congregation, opening in February 1938.
Various groups which had separated from the Wesleyan Methodists since the death of John Wesley decided to join the parent body in the Methodist Union of 1932. After 1932, the new body was known simply as The Methodist Church. To distinguish this from Methodism in other countries (chiefly the USA), it is now styled the Methodist Church of Great Britain. Wikipedia