Mapping Methodism – Summercourt Bible Christian Chapel

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Summercourt is a village in mid Cornwall, five miles (8 km) southeast of Newquay. This profile of Summercourt Bible Christian Chapel has been compiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


The 1820 Chapel

The 1820 Bible Chrisian Chapel which became the Sunday school (Photo: Jo Lewis)

1820: Build date. (West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – Thursday 22 August 1912)

Non-Conformist. There was a Bible Christian chapel at Fraddon and Summercourt; the Wesleyan Methodists also has a chapel at Summercourt. (Genuki)

1876: “Summercourt Bible Christian Sabbath School first anniversary services were conducted by J the Rev. W. Husband. On Monday afternoon the teachers and children, preceded by the excellent Brass Band of Queens, visited the famous pleasure grounds of Mrs Basset of Pencorse after which they returned to a meadow …” (15 July 1876 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)

1907: The Methodist New Connexion, Bible Christians and United Methodist Free Churches amalgamated to become the United Methodist Church.

Presumably became a United Methodist Church until replaced by the School Road Chapel.

Circa 1910: Closure date as a chapel.

1912: “… The old chapel which was built about 1820, shortly after the formation of the Bible Christian denomination. will be used as a Sunday schoolroom and will meet a long-felt need.” (West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – Thursday 22 August 1912)

“This building on the A3058 towards St Austell was a Bible Christian Chapel. It was used as the Sunday School for Summercourt School Road Methodist Chapel until the 1960’s until the ‘new’ Sunday school was built in the late 60s.” (Sharon Keevill)

Bible Christian chapel now used as domestic outbuilding and altered. It is c 1800 in date now with rendered cobb and rubble walls and asbestos slate roof. Listed in Stell (b1). (Cornwall Heritage Gateway)

1881 maps: Shown as a Bible Christian Chapel.

1960s maps: Shown as a Bible Christian Chapel.

Became a barn for Hope Farm and a local person clearly remembers it being a cow byre with the names of the cows on the wall.

Used as a storage unit.


1912 Summercourt School Road United Methodist Chapel

(Photo: Sarah Davis)

1920: Copy lease, School Road United Methodist Church, Summercourt, St Enoder. Parties: 1) Elizabeth Ann Thomas, widow, of St Enoder, lessor. 2) John Burt, mason, John Dean, clay labourer, Orlando Brokenshire, clay labourer, E [Elisha] Halls, farmer, Ellis May, clay labourer, William Burt, clay labourer, William R [Reginald] Juleff, clay labourer, William H [Henry] Osborne, of Resparva Gate, farmer, George Blight of Troan, farmer, William James Lobb, of Bodanna, farmer, Richard Gregor of Glebe Cottage, hind, James Roberts, clay labourer, Frank Tippett, of Chapel Town, clay labourer, Samuel John Letcher, engine driver, Nicholas Coppin, of Penhale, farmer, Ernest Tippett, of Brighton Gate, clay labourer, and John Grigg, of Resparva, farmer, all of Summercourt, St Enoder, George Hore, grocer, etc, and Captain William Bullock, clay agent, of Fraddon, St Enoder, Arthur Yelland, of Blue Anchor, St Enoder, smith, and Wilfred Lawson Salmon, of St Columb, bootmaker, Trustees. 3) John Job, of St Columb, Superintendent Preacher of the Circuit of the United Methodist Connexion in which the Chapel and hereditaments are situated. The Trustees, 2) are possessed of certain sums of money intended to be laid out in the erection of a Chapel or place of religious worship and schoolroom, with the consent of 3) and have agreed with 1) for the grant of the piece or plot of land for a site. Consideration: Rent and covenants. Term: 999 years from 25 December 1909. Rent: 10 shillings per annum. Piece or plot of land situate at Summercourt in St Enoder parcel of the close number 912 in the Ordnance Survey map adjoining the high road leading from Blue Anchor to Mitchell and being from east to west 54 feet 4 inches and from north to south 100 feet in depth as the same has been marked out and is to be inclosed by the Trustees, excepting all minerals lying more than ten fathoms below the surface of the said parcel of ground with liberty to search for get and remove the same by subterranean operations only, and reserving the free running of water and soil in and through the sewers drains and channels upon the same. The tenants at their own expense to build a substantial fence wall of masonry not less than four feet in height and shall not make any public or private nuisance; the tenants or occupiers of houses adjoining may at all reasonable times of the day enter into the buildings erected thereon for the purpose of cleaning drains and repairing the same. The Trustees shall hold the premises according to the terms of the New Model Deed of the United Methodist Church of 4 May 1908. [Day and month not given, but 16 April inferred from schedule of deeds as in MRN/1455]. (Kresen Kernow MRN/1443)

11 Nov 1911: Tender, erection of chapel, School Road United Methodist Church, Summercourt, St Enoder. For £373, submitted by Hart Bullock, Blue Anchor, Fraddon. (Kresen Kernow MRN/1444)

1912: Build date. (SWChurches / Date Stone)

(Photo: Sarah Davis)

Built as a United Methodist Church. (SWChurches)

1912: “SUMMERCOURT U.M.C. NEW CHAPEL OPENED BY MRS. BUNT, ST. AUSTELL. A new and pretty little chapel which has been erected by the United Methodists at Summercourt was opened on Friday… The old chapel which was built about 1820, shortly after the formation of the Bible Christian denomination. will used as a Sunday schoolroom and will meet a long felt need.” (West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – Thursday 22 August 1912)

1932: The Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist and the United Methodist Church amalgamated to become the Methodist Church of Great Britain.

1932: Became Summercourt, School Road Methodist Church. (SWChurches)

Late 1960s: Apparent build date of the Sunday school.

“I was born in Summercourt where at one time there were three Methodist chapels, sadly now all closed – School Road, Wesley and Bible Christian. My family were members of School Road but I remember as a very young child going to the Bible Christian chapel ‘down St Austell Street’ which was used as the Sunday school in the 1960s before the new Sunday School was built at School Road.” (Sharon Keevill)

1964: “One Church Urged for Summercourt. The Redundancy Commission urged the two societies in Summercourt to form a united church and trust and to hold joint services in the School Road chapel and also to provide adequate Sunday school premises at School Road…” (Cornish Guardian – Thursday 07 May 1964)

2008: Closure Date. SWChurches)

2008: Sold. (SWChurches)

(Photo: Sarah Davis)

(Photo: Sarah Davis)

Sunday school at the rear of the chapel seems to be in residential use.

2014: Being sold again – at auction.

The 1912 United Methodist Chapel and later Sunday school at the rear (Photo: Jo Lewis)

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