A society was established in Millgate in 1776 and a chapel built in Guildhall Street, opened by John Wesley in 1787. It became a school when Barnby Gate Chapel was opened in 1846. Another WM chapel was opened at North End in 1868 and the Charles Street Sunday School mission room for the poor of the area in 1886, with a church there in 1905-6. The Newark Circuit was formed in 1793.
The MNC had a chapel in Barnby Gate. PM established itself in the face of opposition. Following a visit from William Clowes and John Wedgwood, another preacher William Lockwood was drenched by a fire hose while attempting to, preach in the market place in 1817. Nevertheless Newark eventually became the head of a separate circuit in 1862.
In 1935 a church was established in Hawtonville to meet the needs of a housing estate. A church hall was opened in 1955 and a new church built in 1968.
John Wesley's Journal:
February 1743: 'Here I met with a few who had tasted the good word: one of whom received me gladly, and desired me, whenever I came to Newark, to make his house my home.'
June 1780: 'Our friends were divided as to the place where I should preach. At length they found a convenient place, covered on three sides, and on the fourth open to the street. It contained two or three thousand people well, who appeared to hear as for life. Only one big man, exceeding drunk, was very noisy and turbulent, till his wife (fortissima Tyndaridarum!) seized him by the collar, gave him two or three hearty boxes on the ear, and dragged him away like a calf. But at length he got out of her hands, crept in among the people, and stood as quiet as a lamb.'
June 1786: '… Newark, one of the most elegant towns in England.'
February 1787: 'Being earnestly desired by our brethren at Newark, one hundred and twenty-four miles from London, to come and open their new house, I took the mail-coach, Friday the 9th in the evening, and reached Newark the next day at four in the afternoon. But having a great cold, and being so hoarse that I could not preach, I desired Mr. Mather to supply my place till I had recovered my voice. Sunday 11: 'Having partly recovered my voice, I preached in the new house at nine - a lightsome, cheerful building, and gave notice of preaching at five in the afternoon. But it was not long before I received a message from the mayor to desire me to begin preaching a little later, that he himself and several of the aldermen might the more conveniently attend. They all came at half an hour past five, and as many people as could possibly squeeze in; and God opened my mouth to speak strong words and the heart of many to receive them. Surely God will have a people in this place that will adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.'
July 1788: 'The mail-coach being full, I crossed over [from Nottingham] to Newark, and had the satisfaction of seeing in the evening, not only a numerous, but likewise a serious and deeply attentive congregation.'
Entry written by: SV
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