Page 9 - Moreton Village Only Book
P. 9

Moreton Village Only 9

                           Although there had never been a village church in Moreton (the hamlet came under the
                        parish of Thame), in 1820 the house of Joseph Mott, The Old Bakery was registered as a
                        place of worship for “a congregation of unspecified denomination”. We know that this was
                        not a Primitive Methodist meeting house as Methodist activity began in Moreton in 1837
                        when a big meeting organised by Thame Methodist Mission was held on the village green
                        where many converts, led by the Mott family, were made. A Moreton Methodist Society was
                        formed with meetings being held in various houses and a local farmer, Joseph Way, who
                        lived at Moreton Farm allowed one of his barns to be used for preaching.

                           By July 1838 Methodist conversion
                        activity in Moreton was at its height and an
                        all day, and most of the night, Methodist
                        “camp meeting” was held on the village
                        green on 9th July that year. Such “camp
                        meetings” could last all day, with Methodist
                        preachers coming from far and wide to
                        address the congregation and the prospective
                        converts. Different preachers (many of them
                        lay preachers and not ordained clergymen)
                        addressed different parts of the crowd at
                        the same time, using farmers’ carts and
                        other makeshift pulpits. The evening of 9th
                        July 1838 saw a “love feast” on Moreton
                        village green with a prayer and praise session  The Methodist Chapel in Moreton – late 1800’s.
                        going on well into the night. What they
                        feasted upon or the love that they enjoyed is not recorded and we leave it to the imagination
                        of our readers!

                           On 30th August 1839 the chapel known as “Bethel Primitive Methodist Chapel” was
                        opened for worship. An unofficial form of census carried out in August 1839 showed that, at
                        the time that the Chapel was opened, there were 49 cottages and 242 inhabitants in Moreton.
                        Farmer Way had given the land and “assistance” for the building of the Chapel which cost
                        £90.12s.11d. (£90.65) and he also inspired the opening of the first Sunday School. By the
                        early 1850’s, afternoon and evening congregations recorded at the Chapel numbered 50+
                        for each service and in 1859 the chapel was enlarged at a cost of £46.6s.1d. (£46.30). The
                        census of 1851 showed that at this time there were 43 houses and cottages in Moreton with
                        a population of 202 residents of which 47 were farm workers. However, with the new roof,
                        raised walls, new windows and the installation of a gallery, the original foundations of the

                                                                   The Moreton Methodist Chapel
                                                                   Anniversary Service Sheet of 1872.
   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14