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Wragby Methodist Church - Our Story (History)

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                              Methodism in Wragby
Methodism in Wragby was not well documented in the past but was first mentioned in 1777 when  a house in the village was registered as a place of worship.  In 1804 an arrangement was made so that Methodist Members in Wragby could go to the Society Class in East Barkwith and preaching services were held at the home of Mr George Chambers.

The first Chapel.  A piece of land was acquired in 1808 and the first Chapel was opened on the site in 1809.  In 1816, owing to the increased numbers attending, the then Chapel had to be enlarged and improvements were made to the building and the official opening of the improved premises was in 1859.  At that time, candles were used for lighting.  Services were held morning and evening once a fortnight, and in the afternoon and evening on alternate Sundays.  In 1864 the first Methodist Sunday School was started with nine pupils.


In January 1894 it was decided to demolish the Old Methodist church as it was too small to accommodate the number who wanted to attend and extra land at the back of the Chapel was promised.  Demolition started in March 1894 and meanwhile services were held in a barn owned by Martin Dobson.  By September of that year, the new Chapel was completed and opened. 

Various renovation schemes were undertaken over the next few years and in 1920, it was decided that a new organ should be purchased as a memorial to those who had died in the First World War.  The names of the fallen were recoded on a brass plate on the side of the organ and later on a slate plaque on the outside wall of the Chapel.  The names of those who died in the Second World War were subsequently added.
Electric lighting was installed in 1927 and in 1932 the system was upgraded so that an electric organ blower could be installed. 

The Second World War starting in 1939, the Schoolroom was used as a soldiers' welfare canteen and evening  services were stopped so that Blackout regulations could be adhered to.  Soldiers stationed in Wragby used the canteen for meals and fellowship.  The front Vestry was used as a quiet room for reading and letter writing and the main school room was used for meals between 7am and 10pm.  In 1945, a bomb exploded in the field behind the Chapel resulting in damage to schoolroom windows. 

This information was taken from a leaflet written by Rev. Kevin Hart for the Centenary of the Chapel in 1994.

Today, the Chapel premises are still used for good works.  A group, not associated with the Chapel hire the kitchen and a rear room for preparation of free food for all Children during the school holidays (Wragby ChEF) and meals on wheels for the elderly on two days of the week, some members of the congregation helping with this work.  ChEF are now moving to new premises in the village, The Community Cafe.  Coffee mornings are held monthly, some of the money raised goes to the Chapel or other Charities.  A Supper Club meets once a month, a Christmas Tree Festival is held on alternate years and we partake in the Churches Festival each year.  These activities raise money to keep the Church going and are a valuable social time for participants.

Methodism is alive and well in Wragby.  We may not have  the numbers attending that were attending in the 1800's but today, the congregation is slowly growing and we welcome all who want to join us.


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