Wallsend, Tyne & Wear

John Wesley preached at Howdon Panns in 1784, and as a result of his visit a society was formed which continued, at different sites and with various accretions, until the closure in 1995 of High Howdon (opened 1960, transferred to the Heaton & Wallsend Circuit 1970), the last place of Methodist worship in that area. In Wallsend town WM began around 1800, its Colliery Chapel (Carville), dating from 1812. A colliery disaster in 1835 took the lives of several members of this society, including William Crister whose biography, The Wall's End Miner was written by James Everett. Most of the society, led by John Reay, joined the Reformers in 1850, taking the chapel (replaced in 1906) with them. The few remaining Wesleyans linked for a time with Walker in Newcastle upon Tyne, returning to Wallsend around 1861, a new chapel, Brunswick, being opened (by Peter Mackenzie) in 1871.

Primitive Methodism began at Howdon Panns in 1822, with a visit by William Clowes, and at Wallsend around 1826. An MNC society, another breakaway from Carville, was formed in 1835. A section of this society was briefly affected by the Joseph Barker controversies. Among prominent names associated with the MNC in Wallsend are John and Mary Allen, commemorated by the present Allen Memorial Church (1904).

The closure of Brunswick (ex-WM) in 1967 and of Carville (ex-UM) in 1974 resulted in the Station Road ex-PM church (1904) being renamed 'Trinity', incorporating the three societies. Another ex-UM church, Hadrian Road, closed in 1970, the society transferring to the new Battle Hill estate and embarking on an ecumenical venture with the Church of England which led to the opening of the Church of the Good Shepherd in 1983.

The present Wallsend - since 1974 in the metropolitan borough of North Tyneside - incorporates the previously separate parishes of Wallsend, Howdon and Willington Quay. Until 1970 the churches in the Howdon/Willington Quay area tended to be linked with North Shields, while those in Wallsend town looked towards Newcastle. Following Methodist Union in 1932, the Newcastle (Heaton and Wallsend) Circuit was formed in 1935. In 2009 the Heaton and Wallsend Circuit joined with Newcastle (Brunswick Central) Circuit to form Newcastle Central and East Circuit.

  • William V. Bolt, 800 Years of Service: a brief history of the Wallsend churches
  • W.R. Sunman, The History of Free Methodism in and about Newcastle-on-Tyne (1902)
  • H.B. Kendall, The Origin and History of the Primitive Methodist Church (1905)
  • W.M. Patterson, Northern Primitive Methodism (1909)
  • William Richardson, History of the Parish of Wallsend (1923)
  • Norman F. Moore, Fifty Years: celebrating the Jubilee of the Heaton and Wallsend Circuit of the Methodist Church (1985), with supplement, Heaton & Wallsend Circuit, 1985-2009
  • Individual churches:
  • Allen Memorial Methodist Church, centenary souvenir 1835-1935
  • William V. Bolt, Hadrian Road Methodist Church, 1883-1935
  • Alfred Fletcher, Mid-Tyne Methodism: its oldest shrine [Carville] and some of its worshippers (1905)
  • Carville Chapel, Wallsend: centenary souvenir, 1812-1912
  • Carvile Methodist Church … 150th anniversary celebrations, May 1962
  • Shirley Filmer, 'Coming together': a history of Trinity Methodist Church, Wallsend 1903-2003