The next service will be on Sunday July 24th at 10am.
Led by Rev. Roly Sims – Holy Communion
A Brief History of the Chapel at Dean
Prior to this Chapel being built in 1899, the congregation met at the home of William Charlton who lived in a cottage on the south side of Dean. In 1844 a certificate was issued by Wesleyan minister, Rev. John Brandreth stating that this cottage was designated to be used as a place of religious worship by a congregation of Protestants to be known as ‘Wesleyan Methodists’.
The records show that 14 local gentlemen, appointed as trustees, approached Frederick Spencer, the local estate and landowner, with regard to acquiring a plot of land to build a new chapel. Frederick Spencer gave the land to them but it was some years before the chapel was built at a cost of £765.
The original plans of the Chapel and Sunday school rooms, printed on silk, show a trap house and stable on the east side. There is no record of these ever being built. Perhaps they ran out of money or had a vision of the future motor car!
After its official opening the Chapel services were very well attended and had a sizeable choir, apparently you had to go early to get a seat! The building was also used weekdays for magic lantern shows, prayer meetings, choir practice and other social events. The Sunday School played a prominent part in family worship over many years.
The original building was lit by oil lamps and heated by hot water pipes from a furnace in the cellar and the pipe organ was pumped by hand. Today the lighting, heating and organ are all electrically operated, in 1953 Ralph James, late of Dean Street Farm, generously funded the cost of the electrical installation in memory of his wife Evelyn.
During its history the Chapel, because of circuit boundary changes, has belonged to several different circuits. We were in the West Mendip Circuit of the Methodist Church, but now have become a part of a much larger circuit – Somerset Mendip Circuit, our current minister being Rev. Roly Sims.
Colin and Gwenda Brock
(This page was last updated on June 26th 2016)