Bethel Chapel (18 & 20 St Michael's Lane)

Description

From Davidson:

This chapel is situated in the lane usually called the Willow Walk, and nearly adjoining Sion Meeting-house. It is neatly disposed, being well adapted for a small congregation ; and belongs to the Methodists of the new connexion, who separated from the original Methodists in 1797; but were not formed into a distinct body till the following year.

The society in this place was established in 1798, and was one of the first that joined in support of the new connexion.. They held their religious assemblies in a house in the Gceen Bat till the present chapel was built, which was opened by the Rev John Grundell in the year 1804. There is a small library belonging to the chapel.

The Methodists of the new connexion allege that the grounds of their separation from the original Methodists is church government, not doctrines; and they object to the old Methodists for having formed a hierarchy of priestly corporation, and thereby deprived the people of those privileges, which, as members of a Christian church, they are entitled to by reason and by scripture. The new Methodists have therefore attempted to establish every part of their church government on popular principles, and profess to have united as much as possible the ministers and the people in every department of it. This is quite contrary to the government of the original Methodists, which, in the most important points is confined exclusively to the ministers.

Tate's history:

Goes into much more detai labout the Rev Alex Kilham. He was minister of the Welsleyan Chapel in Alnwick, but wrote a pamphlet called "The Progress of Liberty" which objected to decision taken by the Methodist Conference and proposed a different approach to governance. For that he was ejected from the church, and set up the Methodist New Connexion. This chapel was built in 1804. They later moved to Bondgate Without (beyond the present playhouse), where they remained until 1960.

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