Third Church – Boroughgate

By 1825 the Nelson Street chapel had become too small for the size of the congregation and so a committee was established to look at building a new Church. The committee consisted of Rev John Mercer, Edward Walmsley, Austin Dibb, William Harrison, Richard Blakeborough, Abraham Kay and William Jackson, with William Cussons as secretary and John Craven as treasurer. It was decided that a new Church should be built on Boroughgate. The land used was bought in trust from John Rastrict (gent of Caley Hall), and John Smith (under-steward of the Court Baron and Court Leet of Burley Hall).

The new Church was opened on March 24th 1826 with three services, led by Rev William Atherton from Wakefield at 10am, Rev D Stoner from York at 2pm, and Rev John Anderson from London at 6pm.

As no architect was used in the designing of the Church many improvements were made during the fifty years it was used as a chapel. Gas lighting was put in in 1838, a new organ was built in 1840, new heating in 1859, and a new vestry built in 1868. In 1873 new alterations came up for discussion and the decision was made to build a new chapel.

One of the most prominent ministers at this Church was Rev Joshua Fernside whose inspirational preaching was part of a revival of Methodism in the town during the early 1830s.

In 1848 two manses (ministers houses) were built on Boroughgate and named ‘Wesley Terrace’, now used by the solicitors Atkinson, Dacre and Slack. Later other properties were bought by the Church including the current manse at Newall Hall Park.

The Church closed in 1876, fifty years after its erection, but continued as a Sunday School. The building was divided horizontally to make a second floor, with the gallery taken down and separate classrooms built.

With the building of the Wesley Hall, the Church was sold in 1905 to WB Moss who used it as a grocery warehouse until 1958, where after it became a car salesroom. In 1991 it was turned into retirement apartments.

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