Over 200 YEARS OF METHODISM IN STOKE MANDEVILLE
In common with many of the chapels around our circuit the first chapel in Stoke Mandeville was opened in the early 19th century. The earliest records show that there was a Methodist Chapel at Stoke Mandeville as far back as 1815. The land and building cost at that time £125.
A census in 1851 showed two flourishing Chapels, judging by the attendance figures at the Primitive Methodist Chapel, with 25in the morning and 24 in the evening congregation. At the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel there were 13 in the morning, 14 in the afternoonSunday School, 70 at the afternoon service and 75 in the evening congregation.
The site of the Primitive Chapel is uncertain but a chapel rebuilt in 1868 can still be seen today as a house conversion along the Risborough Road. It served the Community for almost 100 years, but became structurally unsound with alterations and improvements proving to be impossible. These premises were also inadequate for the village which was growing rapidly, and it was obvious that the need for a new church was pressing.
A scheme was started in earnest in 1947, and enabled Stoke Mandeville to purchase a new plot of land in Eskdale Road, which was dedicated on Wesley Day May 24th 1951.
The foundation stone of the new building was laid on Wesley Day 1958.
So it is appropriate that we celebrated our Church Anniversary on Wesley Day each year