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Hurst Hill Methodist Church
Our History

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Our Story

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Silver Jubilee - 1977

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In 1745, Coseley was part of the Parish of Sedgley - and it was a pretty awful place! Lots of people, but not many amenities. Canals and railroads hadn’t arrived, and the roads, such as they were, were cluttered with turnpikes.

New industries were replacing agriculture as ways of earning a living. Coal mining, nailing, screw making and brick making were springing up, along with extensive heaps of slag. The area was notoriously black!

The people were more interested in bull-baiting and cock fighting than in religion, and there were more brewers and ale houses than one could shake the proverbial stick at!

Apart from the Old Meeting House, there was no provision for public worship closer than Sedgley Parish Church, which was already falling into decay. (It was demolished in 1830).

This was the environment into which John Wesley came.

His “conversion” 1n 1738 sent him out into England as a missionary - especially to the poor and depressed areas. By 1745, he had visited Bilston which he came to on “a very dark day”.

A Methodist Society was formed at Dudley, and a regular visitor to its meetings was Mr. Harper of Hurst Hill. Getting to Dudley was very far from easy - the main road through the Gorge had not been cut - and, after John Wesley had visited the Harper family, and preached at their house, a Methodist Society was formed there.

This was the first Methodist Society in Coseley, and the first denomination to be established. The Baptists arrived in 1780, and the first Anglican Church in Coseley was built in 1827.

There was not a Methodist building for some time. The Methodist Society grew in the environment of meetings held in private houses.

It seems that there is no record of the exact date when the first Hurst Hill Methodist Chapel was built, but its location was on the opposite side of the road to the present building. No trace of it remains today.

A Sunday School was formed, by Mr. Thomas Hayward, in 1802. This also met in a private house - in Ivy House Lane. At a later, unknown date, a separate Sunday School building was built beside the original Chapel, and it was still standing into the 20th. Century.

In 1851, money from Sunday School funds purchased a plot of land on the side of the road where the Church now stands, and a new Sunday School building was completed in 1853.

The School was followed, in 1864, by the Church, which is the building we see today. A further Schoolroom was added in 1910, and, in 1978 the older Schoolroom (by then no longer fit for purpose) was demolished, and replaced with the building we see now.

(Many thanks to Kathryn Williams for providing this brief history)

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