Watering Places Fund

In response to the growing popularity of annual holidays among middle-class Victorian families, the WM Conference of 1862 accepted an offer by W. Morley Punshon to raise £10,000 towards the building or improvement of chapels in seaside and inland resorts. To reach this formidable target, Punshon threw himself into a fresh round of preaching and lecturing and by 1867 it had been reached, though at some cost to his health. William M'Arthur served as the Fund's treasurer. It supported building ventures in some 37 places. Of the 24 new chapels built, Richmond Hill (1886) in the mushrooming resort of Bournemouth was predecessor of the later Punshon Memorial Church (though on a different site). Those at Folkestone (1866), Weymouth (1867),Matlock Bath (1867), Malvern (1868), Lytham (1868), Rhyl (1868), Llandudno (1866) and St. John's, Colwyn Bay were still in use in 2000.

  • Report of the Committee for the Erection of Wesleyan Methodist Chapels in Watering Places (1867)