Longton, Stoke-on-Trent

Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, was formerly known as Lane End. John Wesley paid the first of seven visits, always in the spring, in 1783 and a chapel was registered that year. Wesley's Journal repeatedly notes the extreme cold. A new chapel was built in 1804, replaced in 1842 by a large chapel in Stafford Street, which after reconstruction in 1933 became the Longton Central Mission.

Following a secession in 1797, Union Street MNC chapel opened in 1798. Zion MNC chapel in Commerce Street (1803) was enlarged in 1812 and 1822 and rebuilt in 1841.

The town was missioned for the Primitive Methodists by John Walford, who registered Vauxhall schoolroom in 1834. In 1843, on the foreclosure of the mortgage on their Victoria Place chapel (1836), the PM society rented Ebenezer chapel in High Street (now Uttoxeter Road), built in 1841 for an IM society. They moved to a new chapel in Sutherland Road in 1858 and finally to Bourne Chapel, Stone Road in 1901, on a site given by the Duke of Sutherland. By 1851 a second WM chapel (1812) in High Street had seceded to WR, which also took over the former PM Victoria Place chapel by 1860. By 1876 the latter had seceded from the UMFC to the Wesleyan Reform Union.


John Wesley's Journal:

March 1784: 'It was still piercingly cold but the preaching-house would not hold a fourth part of the people. So I preached in the open air, the moon giving us clear light, though not much heat. The house was filled at five in the morning, and God again applied His word.'

March 1785: 'We found a difficulty at Lane End. Even at noon the house contained not a third of the congregation. The wind was piercing cold; nevertheless, I preached abroad, and God warmed our hearts.'

March 1787: 'About twelve I preached at Lane End. It being too cold to stand abroad, the greater part of the earnest congregation squeezed into the preaching-house.'

March 1788: 'Our chapel not being able to contain one-third of the congregation, they stood at the front of Mr. Myatt's house, where they could all hear perfectly; and though the wind was high and extremely cold, none seemed to regret it.'

  • Ward, J., Notes on the Wesleyan Methodist Church and its Growth in Longton (1902)
  • George W. Sails, At the Centre: the story of Methodism's Central Missions, [1970], pp.76-7

Entry written by: JHA
Category: Place
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