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Methodist New Connexion Chapel on Scotland Street / Furnace Hill


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Sheffield History

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Here is the Methodist New Connexion Chapel on the corner of Scotland Street / Furnace Hill

Dated 1828

Anyone got any fun facts or historical info on this place?

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I don't know about "fun", but here is a little more information.  The New Connexion (MNC) split from the original Methodist church (thereafter called the Wesleyan Methodist Church or WMC) in 1797.  Alexander Kilham was based in the Sheffield area and the MNC grew particularly in the northern industrial towns and cities.  The NMC and WMC finally reunited (along with others) in 1907.  There is a Wikipedia article about the MNC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodist_New_Connexion

In White's Directory of Sheffield, 1852, there is "A Description of Borough and Parish of Sheffield" which includes a chapter on "Churches and the cemetery".  From that chapter we find: "The New Connexion Methodists have three commodious chapels here-one in Scot street, erected in 1764, and rebuilt in 1828 ...".  The stone therefore refers to:

  • 1764 - Building of the original Methodist chapel on this site.
  • 1797 - Split of the MNC from the WMC.  This chapel was possibly the first, but certainly one of the earliest MNC congregations.
  • 1828 - Building of the present structure.

The uncertainty of which chapel has priority is compounded by Methodist organsiation.  Unlike Anglicans or RCs, Methodist Ministers are not assigned to a parish, but to a circuit.  Ministers move around the circuit preaching at different chapels.  Kilham became a minister of the circuit in Sheffield but I don't have any details to hand about how large the circuit was at that time.

For comparison the WMC had "six large chapels" in 1852 and the Primitive Methodists (another splinter group formed in 1810, reunited in 1932) had one large chapel.  Two other Methodist groups, the Association Methodists (1836-1857) and Wesleyan Reformers (1859 to present) had "a neat chapel in Surrey street, built in 1831; and a smaller one in Stanley street" and "several temporary places of worship in the town" respectively.

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A bit more info.  I found a link to this issue of the Wesley Historical Society's Proceedings: https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/whs/21-5.pdf  I don't know the date of the piece, probably late '30s so I'm not sure about copyright and therefore won't cut-and-paste.  Here is a transcript of the plaque:

This ground has been hallowed for the

worship of Almighty God from 1764

when the first chapel was built by the Rev. T. Bryant who left

the Mulberry Street Methodist Church.

In 1797 it became the mother church of the Methodist New

Connexion in this city, the Rev. Alexander Kilham being the minister.

A Sunday School was founded in the same year originally meeting in

Hollis Croft later in Sycamore St from 1816 in Allen St.

The conferences of the Methodist New Connexion were held here

in 1798 1802 1818 1830 1842 1855

The present chapel was erected in 1828.

In 1897 the Littlewood Hall, vesteries &c were built

In 1907, by the union of the M.N.C. & U.M.F. Churches

it became a United Methodist Church.

In 1932 by the union with the Wesleyan & Primative Methodist Churches

it is now a Methodist church

"Hitherto hath The Lord helped us"

For those who might be unaware, the Methodist Conference is the governing body of the Methodist Church.  The transcription "&c" is today rendered "etc".  OK, I got the MNC/WMC reunification date wron in my original post!

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From White's Directory of 1845: (https://archive.org/stream/generaldirectory00whit?ref=ol#mode/2up)

The Wesleyan Methodists have six large Chapels here, viz : — Norfolk Street Chapel, built in 1780, and enlarged in 1833; Carver Street Chapel, built in 1804; Ebenezer Chapel, near Moorfields, erected in 1823 ; Bridgehouses Chapel, erected in 1795, but rebuilt in 1833 ; the Park Chapel, built in 1831; and Brunswick Chapel, a large and handsome stone fabric, erected in 1833, and having seats for 2,000 hearers. They have also four small Chapels at Owlerton Bar, Crookes Moor, Heeley,and the Manor. The New Connexion Methodists have two commodious Chapels here, — one in Scotland Street, erected in 1764, and rebuilt in 1828; and the other in South Street, built in 1828. The Association Methodists have a neat Chapel in Surrey Street, built in 1831 ; and a smaller one in Stanley Street. . The Primitive Methodists have a large Chapel in Coalpit Lane, built in 1835 and '6 ; and the deluded followers of Johanna Southcott assemble for wor- ship in the Free Mason's Hall. The Plymouth Brethren and Latter Day Saints have meeting rooms in the town

Johanna Southcott has a Wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Southcott but frankly had nothing to do with the Methodists.

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