Chapel Lane Methodist Church is situated down a quiet country lane to the south side of Dudleston Heath. It was built as a Weslyan Chapel in the Whitchurch Circuit. The foundation stones were laid in August 1872. A newspaper report records that four hundred people were present to witness this event and to celebrate the occasion. They were urged ‘to make that day memorable by devoting themselves henceforth to God’s service’. After the celebration all those who attended enjoyed a ‘substantial’ sit-down tea in an adjoining tent.
At some time before it was transported to Chapel Lane from a church in Whitchurch, John Wesley is said to have preached in the beautiful, large pulpit.
Fifty years later on Thursday 18th May 1922, the Golden Jubilee was celebrated. To mark the occasion new gates costing £13 were opened at the entrance to the chapel yard at 3 p.m. At 3.30 p.m. a meeting was held at which the preacher was Rev. T.J. Gurney, Chairman of the Liverpool District, followed by a public tea at 5 p.m. in the Parish Hall at the cost of one shilling per person.
The minutes from the Trustees’ Meetings contain some interesting entries. Here are a few –
March 1908 – It was recorded that £1 came in for seat rent
November 5th 1913 – 1 shilling was spent on stabling a horse for the preacher
May 1922 – The sale of the old gates realised 10 shillings
January 1925 – 12 shillings was spent on the purchase of lamps, glasses, wicks and candles
February 1944 – A new stove was purchased from Cartwright Brothers at a cost of £6 10s 6d
Throughout the years there have been many faithful people who have served God in the Sunday School, the Guild and the Young People’s Fellowship, and several men and women have gone on to become local preachers following their conversion to Christ in the Chapel. There have been quite a few people who have come from elsewhere to minister in the Chapel including the Cliff College Trekkers in the 1930’s, American preachers who came from the American Army Camp which was stationed at Oteley, Ellesmere
during the Second World War, Mr. Roy Curtis who came with the Caravan Mission to Village Children in the late 1950’s and the Methodist deaconesses, Sister Jean and Sister Greta, in the early 1960’s.
Currently services are held every Sunday morning and the members are always blessed by the faithful ministry of the circuit minister, Rev. Andrew Evans, and the local preachers. In the tiled floor of the porch, there is a triangular shaped piece of cement into which the words ‘Jesus saves me now, 1936’ have been etched by an unknown person to whom these words were meaningful.