History

The church opened 17th July 1990 but its history spans nearly 200 years and has two parallel strands.

history-wesleyan-chapel
The Wesleyan Chapel Frederick Street

1. Wesleyan Methodism which had its roots in the preaching of John Wesley in the 18th century.

1819 – William Kirby of Great Glen, a nearby village, began to preach in Wigston Magna.

1827 – Wigston was placed on the preaching plan.

1839 – With the membership at 20, a Wesleyan chapel was built.

1885 – A new chapel was built, adjoining the old (see opposite).

history-primitive-chapel
The Primitive Chapel Moat Street (1983)

 

2. Primitive Methodism began in 1807

1818 – A ‘Camp Meeting’ (an open-air evangelical meeting), from which a House Church was established.

1846 – The Primitive chapel was built.

1848 – Chapel enlargement, to accommodate the 160 members.

1886 – New cruciform chapel, with adjoining schoolrooms, opened.

 

In 1932 the various strands of Methodism come together to form ‘The Methodist Church’. But, will the two Methodist Chapels, two Societies, two traditions serving Wigston Magna come together?

When did the two chapels come together?

On October 23rd 1983 the two Societies held a ‘Service of Unification’! The Methodist Church in Wigston Magna was born, but it retained the two premises, neither being large enough to accommodate all its activities.

When was the decision taken to move into one building?

The decision was taken on 14th November 1987 to move into a refurbished Moat Street Chapel. The final services being held at Frederick Street on 17th July the year following.

The next year was spent making decisions about the refurbishment. The final services were held in the Moat Street Chapel on 18th June 1989.

What happened whilst the church building was refurbished?

During the next year the Wigston Magna Methodist Church joined with the nearby United Reformed Church, sharing in worship and using its premises for its activities.

17th JUNE 1990

WIGSTON MAGNA METHODIST CHURCH WAS OPENED AND DEDICATED

PRAISE THE LORD

Sources:

  • William A. Ward and contributors ‘Through all the changing scenes’, 1985
    A History of Frederick Street Methodist 1819 – 1985
  • Stan Webster ‘Thy Hand, O God Hath Guided’ 1986
    A History of the Moat Street Chapel 1818 – 1986
  • Jubilee Services of Moat Street Methodist Church Souvenir booklet, March 1936
  • Orders of Service for 17th July 1988, 18th June 1989 and 17th June 1990