Weston-super-Mare, Som.

Methodism came to this seaside resort in Somerset as the result of beginnings in the older and then much larger village of Banwell, four miles inland. A cottage in Meadow Street with a large kitchen suitable for the purpose is said to have been the first venue for meetings in 1791. The first chapel was opened in Wellington Lane, off High Street. It was adapted from two cottages and served until a larger one was opened nearby in 1847 at the corner of Regent Street and James Street. (Some of the old chapel frontage survives in the premises of Barclays Bank.) Weston attained circuit status by separation from Banwell in 1851. The town's development called for a further upgrade, and Victoria, a large and handsome church with a tall, slender spire, opened in Station Road in 1899. This was destroyed by fire in 1934 and replaced by the present building in modern Gothic style two years later.

Other former WM churches are Uphill (1845) and Church Road (1881, enlarged 1886). Hill Road (1911, replacing a Baker Street mission) and Bournville (1954) are closed and the sites redeveloped, Bournville having united with St Andrew's parish church. Former BC, UM and PM chapels survive in the town, but in secular use. The large residential suburb of Milton is served by a modern church at the foot of Milton Hill, opened in 1930, destroyed by enemy action in 1942 and rebuilt in 1951. The more recent development around the old village of Worle is served by new centres at St. Mark's and Meadvale, which, with St. Martin's parish church, form a local ecumenical parish. Most recent of all is the outreach work on the Locking Castle estate.

  • Methodist Recorder, Winter Number, 1898, pp.49-52

Entry written by: PWG
Category: Place
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