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New Wesleyan Chapel at Skerton

Lancaster Gazette 10 October 1868:-

On Wednesday the Mayor of Lancaster officiated at the placing of a memorial stone of a new Wesleyan Chapel at Skerton. The parent body of the Wesleyan denomination at Lancaster have for some years past occupied as a chapel a school-room, devoted to the education of Church of England scholars, and this school proving too small for the increasing number of its congregation, the Wesleyans of Lancaster, foremost amongst whom was Mr. James Helme, determined that they would build a chapel of their own for their brethren at Skerton, and being nobly aided by friends in Skerton – by Mr. James (sic) Middleton especially, who alone subscribed £20 – they have carried out their desires, the chapel being now about half-built.  Its site is in Main-street; its design is gothic.  The structure is substantial, plain, and neat, it is 60 feet long by 22 feet in width, and is estimated to cost between £400 and £500, and calculated to contain nearly 300 persons.

An adjoining cottage is also to be bought, which will add another £100, making the rough estimate of £550 for the whole, towards which has been already received and promised £310.  The remainder is proposed to be raised by collections in the neighbouring chapels.

At the ceremony on Wednesday, the Rev. E. Dothie (Independent), J. S. Jones (Wesleyan), the Rev. Mr. Beecliffe (Baptist), Rev. Mr. Wray (Primitive Methodist), and the Rev. Mr. Holgate, took a part.  The proceedings having been opened with the customary hymns and prayers, and reading of scriptures which properly belong to the ceremony, Mr. James Helme presented the Mayor with a handsome silver trowel, suitably engraved, accompanying the presentation with an appropriate address, and the Mayor having performed the part allotted to him, declared the stone to be well and truly laid, &c., and proceeded to address the assembly, congratulating those who had been foremost in the good work, and expressing the hope that their labours would go on increasing and prospering.  (continues).

The Rev. Mr. Jones . . . . eulogised the labours of Mr. James Helme, who, he said, was mainly instrumental in obtaining for Skerton this new chapel, and spoke in terms of high commendation of the handsome contribution of Mr. Joseph Middleton, who, of his hard earned money, had out of his largeness of heart, and fervour for the good cause, contributed no less than £20 towards the new building.  

(continues)

The Lancaster Wesleyan Chapel Choir attended and gave several anthems in a very excellent manner.  

Lancaster Gazette 26 October 1878:-

The Wesleyan Chapel Building Committee.  A meeting was held in the Wesleyan day school on Wednesday evening, of the Building and Ways and Means Committee, &c., connected with the erection of the new Wesleyan chapel and schools, Sulyard-street, Lancaster, when the Treasurer Mr. James Helme presented the account and balance sheet. (continues). 

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