History of Birdwood Methodist Church

The Chapel and the cottage adjoining were built in 1814 by the Countess of Huntington Connection. It is noted that it was built outside the five mile limit from Gloucester to comply with the Act concerning dissenters. A Sunday School was started in the village by the Methodists helped by firends from Northgate in 1842. On 29th October 1844 the Rev. John Hall purchased the Chapel and cottage for £250. A Trust was formed and they purchased the buildings from Rev John for !0s., in March 1846.

Little is know of the early days of what took place as no records seem to have been kepot. A new Trust was formed in 1915. Their first task sees to have been to tacklet repairs to the cottage. This seems to have been a problem reight to the present day. Dampness and the movement of th west end wall being the main concern. In 1921 some £43 was spent. A new organ was installed in 1936. The capital debt remaining on the cottage as reported as being £150 in 1927. It was then decided to make a special efforty to reduce the debt and a fete was held at Church House and £75 was raised. The Schoolroom was renovated in 1934 at a cost of £23. Another new Trust was formed in 1939. Electric light wasinstalled in 19950 at a cost of about £40. During the late 1950's various improvements were undertaken, includeing the making of a new kitvhen and redecorations.

The Centrenary Celebrations were held on 8th July 1948. When Coney Hill Chapel closed in 1955the organ from there was given to Birdwood and the old one sold. Over the years the Trist seems to have been able to pay its way, special efforts being made from time to time at Churchham House.

In 1965 tghe Trustees felt that the time had come when something should be done to brighten the Chapel and a Fundy was started. A scheme involving approcximately £1000 was started in 1967. The whole of the premises were redecorated, the old pews replaced by pews purchased from Ditchet Chapel and a number of chairs werep purchased to amke up the seating. The floor in the Chapel was dfound to be in a bad state so a new one was put down. The fift of the sanctuary furniture with Communion Table, Communion Rail, Cross and curtains from the closed Wesley Hall enabled the removal of the old platform and pulpuit to be undertaken. The fidt of a new pulpit in memory of Fanny and George Tucker made it possinble to greatly improve the look of the Chapel. Muich of the work was undertaken by the people themselves.

The reopening and dedication was on 15th April by the Rev. Leslie Wollen, Chairman of the Discrtict. This was followed by a tea and a meeting at which Mr G R Hione reclalled fifty years of Methodism in Boirdwood. £70 was raised at the meeting. Plans are no in hand to make a car park.

Extract taken from the book 'The Methodist Church - Gloucester Circuit,
from the time of John Wesley to 1970' Compiled by G R Hine

Since 1970 the cottage that adjoined the Chuch was demolished and a new kitchen and toilet block was built and the car park was completed.

The original outbuildings behind the schoolroom, where the minister would keep his horse during the sermon were also demolished, due to them being unsound.

The maintance of the building & land continued to be undertaken by the church members.

The final service was held on 19th May 2002.

 

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