Mapping Methodism – West Looe Bible Christian Chapels

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The Looe Chapels have been profiled by Jo Lewis and Tony Mansell.


Circa 1831: A group of Bible Christians began meeting in West Looe.


1846 Salem Bible Christian Chapel

Salem chapel. A Bible Christian chapel built in 1846. Simple with front gable and plaque. Crudely converted to domestic use. (Heritage Gateway)

Located in West Looe Hill.

1846: Build date.

A lease exists for a garden in West Looe for the Bible Christian Church. Parties: Piece of garden in West Looe, lately occupied by Mary Medland, leased under terms of Bible Christian model deed. 2 Aug 1845.

1889: New chapel build and this became a Sunday school.

Now Old Chapel Cottage – holiday accommodation.


1889 Bible Christian Chapel

A nonconformist Bible Christian chapel, late C19 early C20 now converted into flats (2). Two storey chapel local stone with gables and hipped transepts slate roof, simplified Gothic detail including rendered and painted window and door details. The chapel is only recorded on the 2nd Edition 1:2500 OS map c1907 (1) (3) Built between 1887 and 1900. It closed in 1966 when the congregation merged with those at the present Riverside Chapel on the Quay (4). (Heritage Gateway)

Located at Dingle’s Folly, Fore Street, West Looe. Ascending Chapel ground from Fore Street, the Chapel dominates the view.

1889: Build date. This was a larger chapel and the Salem Chapel continued in use for Sunday School meetings.

1889: West Looe Bible Christian Chapel. This report is virtually unreadable but these are the salient points: Memorial stones being laid / Society formed about 70 years ago – met in private houses / 43 years in a small chapel / chapel enlarged / new chapel to be 60 feet x 40 feet / school premises to be built in the future. (Western Morning News – Friday 23 August 1889)

See 1939 report of 1889 foundation laying event.


1831-1884Trust accounts – Chapel loan, West Looe United Methodist Church.

1887-1891: New Chapel, West Looe Bible Christian Chapel correspondence.

1885-1900: Builders receipts.

1886-1926: West Looe United Methodist Church Accounts.

1928: Proposed schoolroom, West Looe United Methodist Church.

1886-1926: West Looe United Methodist Church Trust Accounts.

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

1907: Became a United Methodist Church.

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

1932: Became West Looe Methodist Church.

1939 report of 1889 event: West Looe Chapel Stone-Laying Of 50 Years Ago Recalled. On August 21, 1889, the stone-laying of the West Looe new Bible Christian Chapel took place, and the following is an abridged version of the report which then appeared in “The Western Morning News. The memorial stones were laid on Wednesday. August 21. Some difficulty was experienced in procuring a suitable site, but ultimately a freehold garden and large orchard coming into the market were secured by the trustees. The building, which will have a very effective appearance, has been designed by Mr. H. J. Snell, architect, of Plymouth, and will provide accommodation for 350 persons The estimated outlay, apart from cost of site, is £1,050, and the contractors are Messrs. John and W. Taylor, of West Looe. The proceedings commenced with singing, and prayer was offered by Rev. M. Lansdowne. of Bournemouth. The first stone was laid by Capt. John Clements, whose parents were associated in the work of building the first chapel, and he laid a donation of £20 on the stone. The memorial stone was laid by the minister, Rev T. C. Jacob, now leaving the Looe Circuit for Bradford, to whose energy and determination the present progressive movement is largely due. He placed a donation of £5 on the stone. The Sunday-school stone was laid Mr. John Tucker, who gave £10. The Sunday scholars’ gifts were £25. The proceeds of the day amounted to about £130. (Western Morning News – Saturday 19 August 1939)

1940: Seating for 400. (Revd David Easton, Methodist Historian)

1966: Closure. (Revd David Easton, Methodist Historian)

17th September 1966: Closing service.

1966: Two Looe Chapels May Become Old People’s Flats. Council To Contact Trustees when the Free Church of Looe unite in a few months’ time and use the Congregational Church as headquarters. two Methodist chapels, one at East Looe and one at West Looe. will become vacant. (Cornish Guardian – Thursday 16 June 1966)

(West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – Thursday 10 August 1972)


Converted to residential flats. (Revd David Easton, Methodist Historian)

Joined with (what is now) United Reform Church at URC. (Revd David Easton, Methodist Historian)

The East and West Looe Methodist and Congregational congregations united and moved to the Riverside United Church. (From MRLISK/373)





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