The first three chapters of this commemorative booklet are an edited version of The Rev. Dr. John Woolcock's "History of the Bible Christians in the Isle of Wight". It paints the scene of the Isle of Wight at the time that Bible Christian missionaries came from Cornwall. The founding fathers of the Wootton Station Road Methodist Church, as it is now, started the society in a small barn, close to Wootton Bridge in 1824. In 1846, the society felt itself to be strong enough to build a permanent chapel in which to hold their services and meetings. As there were already two Methodist societies meeting at Wootton Bridge, it was decided to build this chapel on a piece of land at the edge of Baalam's Farm. This plot was donated by the farmer who was a staunch member of the society. Although it was a little off the main thoroughfare and its position criticised by some members of the circuit, it nevertheless served the community well. It was a great shock, therefore, to the members to find the chapel devastated by natural forces ofwind and rain in early 1897. It is intended that this booklet reflects the worries, the massive help given by other churches in the then Bible Christian circuit of Newport/Ryde, and the achievements made by the society. The present members of the society wished to compile a record of the opening of the present church in May, 1898 and to celebrate the 100 years of service and ministry that have passed since that date. We hope that this record may be of help to those of the society who will be celebrating the bi-centenary in 2024 AD!
This booklet could not have seen the light of day, were it not for the kind help of many of the present society members and their friends and our thanks go to all those who have not only dug into their memories and histories but have contributed in many ways to the celebration of this centenary. We feel that the historical side of this booklet should be available by the time we celebrate the centenary of the actual opening of the church but we also wish to list and to include comment on the various activities that have and are taking place in the celebrations in 1997 and 1998. We are therefore looking to issue an addendum to this main record later in 1998.