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Methodists in Riseley

The Old Chapel April 2015
The Old Chapel April 2015

Sadly, because Riseley Methodist chapel was part of the Higham Ferrers circuit, its archives are at Northamptonshire Record Office. The Weslayen Methodist chapel was registered on 14th February 1807 [ABN1/1] and again registered on 29th May 1854 by Thomas Jeffery of Higham Ferrers.

On Sunday 30th March 1851 a census of all churches, chapels and preaching-houses of every denomination was undertaken in England and Wales. The local results were published by Bedfordshire Historical Records Society in 1975 as Volume 54, edited by D. W. Bushby. The return for the

Riseley was compiled by William James, the local preacher and Ekins Simpson. The information was as follows:

  • The chapel dated to 1807;
  • There were 140 free seats, 73 other seats and standing room for 50;
  • Morning congregation was 33 general attendees and 60 Sunday scholars;
  • Afternoon congregation was 92 general attendees and 60 Sunday scholars;
  • Evening congregation was 106 general attendees and 55 Sunday scholars.
  • The average attendance for the past year had been 100 general attendees and 60 Sunday scholars per service.

The chapel was listed by the former Department of Environment in June 1974 as Grade II, of special interest. The ground floor is of red brick with chequered brick above. The roof is slated. The chapel was still open in the 1970s but subsequently closed and is now a private house.