Methodism in Consett

In 1843 services were held in the open air by Joseph Hutchinson, John W Davison and William Bell, all members of the first Methodist Church in the area, built at Shotley Bridge in 1814.

Rev R Tabraham visited Consett in 1844 and a "class" was formed by Joseph Dover of Blackhill. Joseph Philipson and his wife, Thomas Ferry, John Murray and Margaret Gladders were among the first members of the "class". (A Methodist class was a small group of people meeting together for worship in a house led by a "class" leader.) The first services were held in the house of Thomas Ferry at Trafalgar Street, Consett and were known as Primitive Methodist services. The Primitive Methodist Church was built in Front Street, Consett in 1865 and a schoolroom was added in 1886. The need for larger premises was felt necessary but it was not until 1908 that a site was purchased, in Station Road, from Consett Iron Company for £250, (one third of its market value). The first effort towards the Building Fund was a four-day bazaar in the new Town Hall, which raised £1,000. The northern area of the site was designated for schools; the southern area contained the Church, which was to be stone built in Cruciform Gothic Style. The church was opened on 28th March 1913, and could seat 600 people.

In 1845 Mr John Dickinson came to the town and commenced another class meeting. A Wesleyan Church was built in Front Street, Consett in 1849 costing £299 1s 0d and opened on 2nd September 1849, which was rebuilt in 1871, the foundation stone was laid on 17th July 1871, by John Dickinson and the cost of the church was £1,400. The ladies held a bazaar in the shell of the new building, and by their marvellous energy raised about £500. The Rev. J.S. Workman preached the opening sermons, from Matthew 9: 36, and Matthew 3: 11, on April 17th, 1872. The Divine glory filled the place and it was consecrated by several conversions. A Mr Fletcher sold 3 cottages at the back of the chapel and they were converted into a school room. A day school was opened at Gibson Street. The Wesleyan Chapel was rebuilt in Middle Street, Consett in Gothic style and opened on 22nd September 1893, and in 1896 the Sunday School premises were opened. All pews in the new church were "free of charge", previously pews were rented and there were few left for other people wishing to come to services. The church could seat 950 people. The total cost was £13,168.7.10, and this was fully cleared in just fifteen years. Three famous bazaars, "The Egyptian Bazaar" of 1891, "The Venetian Bazaar" of 1898 and "The Old English Bazaar" of 1907, alone brought in nearly £4,000.


Avenue Church
Original Avenue Church
Middle Street Church
Middle Street Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to a decrease in membership, high cost of repairs and the amalgamation of both Primitive and Wesleyan Churches in 1932, both Methodist churches in Consett decided to amalgamate and become one church, Consett Methodist Church. They closed in 1968 and the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Middle Street was sold to Liptons Supermarket (now In-Shops) and the Primitive Methodist Church at The Avenue was demolished and the new church built on that site. While there was no Methodist Church to worship in during this time, the Methodist people shared the Baptist Church and the Gospel Hall in Front Street, for approximately two years. A stone laying ceremony was held 14th September 1970 and the church opened on 5th December 1970, the Methodist Minister was Rev. Peter Dolling.

Since 1970 the church premises have been extended twice giving extra rooms for meetings.