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New Bible Christian Chapel

October 1897

On Thursday 21 October, will be marked as a red letter day in the annuals of the Bible Christians at Wootton, that being the day on which were laid memorial stones of their new chapel near the Railway Station. There was a large gathering at the ceremony, which was ably conducted by Mr R Bullen J.P., the treasurer of the Chapel Trustees.

Opening of the new Chapel in Beech Lane, Wootton

7 May 1898

The new Bible Christian Chapel at Wootton, which has been erected near the Railway Station in place of that which was destroyed in the gale of March 3rd, last, was opened on Thursday afternoon in the presence of a large congregation, despite the unfavourable weather. The building is built of Bath stone and red brick in the Geometrical Gothic style, from the design of Mr. S. E. Tomkins, by Mr. Oliver James of Ryde, the cost being some £885. The appearance of the chapel both interior and exterior is very pleasing, the interior being especially attractive, combining solidity and strength with finish. The chapel itself is some 45ft long by 20ft broad and 11ft high to the plate and about 18ft to the ceiling. The windows will be stained Glass.

The seating arrangement, which will accommodate some 120 people, in pitch pine, as also is the rostrum. The aisles are rather wide to enable hinged seats to be used at the side when required. The walls are dadoes with pitch pine and finished with lined stucco. The iron casements to the windows are filled with stained glass. Two exhaust ventilators in the roof effect the ventilation with inlets at the windows. A schoolroom in the rear 18ft by 22ft, which can accommodate about 100 children. There is also a vestry and a boiler room. Iron railings on a dwarf wall with Bath stone coping surround the building, and the ground is laid out in shrubs. A stone is placed near the top front of the building on which is recorded the date and reason for its erection. There are several memorial stones. Mr. R. Bullen, J.P. of Newport has taken a great interest in the building and has acted as hon. Clerk of Works.

The opening service was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Woolcock, who then preached from St. John 7th chapter and 46th verse, "never man spake like this man". The singing was lead by the Newport choir, with Mr. W. J. Bailey at the organ presiding. There was a large attendance at the tea served in the schoolroom and the marquee at the rear of chapel.

At the evening meeting Mr. R. Bullen J.P. presided and addresses were delivered by the Revs. Dr. W. Woolcock, J. C. Sweet, W. R. A. Budd and W. H. May. During the proceedings, the chairman was presented with a portrait of himself in recognition of his good work for the denomination in the Isle of Wight, Rev. J. C .Sweet made the presentation. The collections and promises made during the day amounted to £61.0s. 2d.

Foundation Stones:

This stone was laid by Miss C. Moody on behalf of Messrs William, George and M. Moody in memory of their father. This stone was laid on Oct 21 1897 by Mrs. R. Bullin, in memory of the late Rev. James Way, former pastor of this circuit.
This stone was laid by the pastor, Rev. J. C. Sweet, on behalf of the various societies of this circuit.
Mrs. A. Tomkins; Mr & Mrs Greengrass; Mrs. F. Fleming; Mr. J. Blake; Mr J. Guttridge.
Laid by Mr E. Gallop on behalf of the teachers and scholars of the Sunday School.

S. E. Tomkins, Architect. O. James, Builder.

Bible Christian Chapel

Built 1897

To supersede one destroyed by storm 3 March of the same year.

Addendum to the official opening report

12 May 1898

The New Bible Christian Church, the opening of which was reported last week is a building that members may feel proud of. Satisfactory progress is being made in raising the necessary funds to defray the cost of erecting the Chapel. At the opening a ceremony last week £160 was raised not £61 as reported, and that amount has been substantially added too.

Sale of Work 7 January 1905

A well attended sale of work and New Year’s festival took place last Thursday in order to raise funds to help pay off the chapel’s outstanding debt. Mr. R. Bullen J.P said the current debt was £640 of which they had £70 in hand and hoped to raise a further £30 to pay a £100 off that figure.

Bazaar at the new Bible Christian Church, Wootton. Thursday 1st June 1899

The bazaar was held in lovely summer weather at the new church, which was gaily decorated with bunting and evergreens. At the entrance to the chapel was a stall selling ferns, pot plants and buttonholes, other stalls in the church displayed a wide selection items, the aim of the event being to help pay off the building fund debit.

The Rev. J.C Sweet welcomed Mr Edgar Chatfield Clarke of Oakfield who had travelled down from London to open the event. Rev. Sweet explained that it was hoped the event would help pay off some of the building fund debt which currently stood at £800.00 because of debt had come from the old church He went on to say that their old chapel had been severely damaged in a gale two years ago and they had been forced to look for a new location. They had been fortunate in finding a piece of land in an ideal location to build their new chapel and carry on the good work that they had started at Littletown.

He went on to thank Mr. and Mrs. Chatfield Clarke who had come to their aid in a time of need by allowing them to use his reading room to hold their services also financially, and without his help they would have struggled to continue with the good work.

Mr. Chatfield Clarke then formally opened the event and said he took a great interest in events; and considered it and honner to be here today and congratulated the architect and builder on their work.

Records indicate that around £85.00 was raised.

Isle of Wight County Press, various editions
The history of the Wootton Station Road Methodist Church Society. The booklet, which contains a more detailed history of the Island Methodist beginnings than presented here, can be obtained from the church secretary
Isle of Wight County Records

There is far earlier information on the Bible Christian movement on Isle of Wight in the following articles History of the Bible Christians in Isle of Wight (second addition) by Rev. J. Woolcock D.D., 1897.

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This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:41

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