Home to FeltwellTour Feltwell Today Tour Old Feltwell See Feltwell's History Read Feltwell's History RAF Feltwell Memorial Pages Special Photo Sets
Feltwell's Timeline
Historical InfoLoops Photo of the Month Feltwellians Worldwide Feltwell Links

THE METHODIST CHURCH.
by Mr. W. Addison, J.P. Written in 1953.

Methodism has been established in Feltwell for a long period, during which many and varied changes have taken place.

For many years there existed two Methodist Chapels, one belonging to the Primitive Methodist Society and was situte in Cock Street, Feltwell. The other belonging to the Wesleyan Methodist Society, each with its own Organisation and administration. The Primitive Methodist folk held services in a building prior to having the Chapel.

The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was erected in 1811 and thus celebrated its centenary in 1911. It was erected by the following people, Ambrose Whiteman, Edmund Whitmore, Thomas West and William Pryer and set apart to be used as a place for the public worship of Almighty God by Protestant Dissenters and dated 8th October, 1811. The original deed was dated June 24th, 1812, and an absolute surrender of both Chapel and the land on which it stood was made to the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion on July 13th, 1858. The following is an extract from an old Magazine concerning one of the founders of the Wesleyan Society as follows:

At Feltwell in the Thetford Circuit, aged 58 years, Mr. A. Whiteman, who for 26 years was a consistent member of the Methodist Society and who first introduced the Gospel as preached by the Methodists into Feltwell, and established a Sunday School, which he liberally supported for many years and for a long period entertained the various preachers who came to conduct the services, was thrown from his horse on the Tuesday and lingered until the Saturday, when he died in peace. By his own request, he was buried in the Chapel close to his own house. His conduct gave evidence that his heart was right with God. He lived at Laurel House and had a private entrance from his front garden into the Chapel, where he had a family pew. The entrance door which his family used is still to be seen in the end wall of the building. One or more children were also buried in the Chapel.

Mr Eric Pryer recalls that in 1925 whilst attending Sunday School at the Primitive Methodist's Chapel (now the Greengrocers) Mr and Mrs Gathercole were the teachers, Mr Davidson (schoolmaster) played the fiddle, Mrs Carrie Pryer the organ and Mr Wilson Brooks the one-string fiddle, every sunday.

Both Chapels were used by the two separate Societies until 1936. In that year on February 5th, a new Methodist Church was opened which had been built by the combined efforts of the two Methodist Churches, in consequence of the amalgamation of all Methodist Churches throughout the country under Methodist Union, by Act of Parliament.

After prolonged negotiation on the matter it was decided that the time was opportune for the Union of all Methodist Churches and at the Conference in May, 1933, Methodist Union became a reality. The Union included the Wesleyan Methodists, Primitive Methodists and United Methodists, all of which became known as the Methodist Church under one governing body.

Getting ready to open.  1936.methclean.jpg


Feltwell Methodist Church now forms a part of the Downham Market Circuit. The present Minister being the Rev. H. T. Summers who resides at Methwold.
Front row, L. to R....
1.   Mrs. Emma Jane Laws (Harold Laws' mother)  2.  Mrs. Brown.   3. Mrs Youngs. 4.  Mrs. Ella Winifred Walden*.
Second row: 1.  Mrs. Rose Cooper.  2. lady unknown (can't see her face). 3. Mrs. Brooks.  4. Miss Pryer.  5. Mrs Wilfred Addison. 
Back row.  1. (unknown), 2. Mrs Davidson**, 3. Mrs Boyce?
* Mrs Ella Winifred Walden (nee Clarke) was married to Robert Henry Gladstone Walden.
** Mrs Davidson and Miss Pryer were sisters.
Photo provided by Harold Laws via Thomas Padrick

Methodist Ministers since 1935

1935 Rev. Evans 1967 Rev. Windridge
1936 Rev Isherwood 1972 Rev. Wren
1939 Rev. Cadamy 1977 Rev. Wilkinson
1945 Rev. Price 1982 Rev. Smith
1949 Rev. Middleton 1987 Rev. Adrian Russell
1952 Rev. Summers 1996 Rev. David Keys
1957 Rev. Smith 1998 Rev. Jackie Goddard
1962 Rev. Windsor

Back to Written Records