In July 1741 John Wesley recorded passing through Wantage and pausing long enough to take tea; but there is no other evidence of his visiting the town or preaching there. Methodism did not reach the area until Thomas Bush, a gentleman from Lambourne took the initiative in missioning the Vale of the White Horse in 1820, with Wantage as head of the resulting circuit. The society met at first in a carpenters shop on the site of the present Waitrose car park. Having outgrown this and another house, it built its first chapel in 1845 on the site it still occupies in Newbury Street, financed largely by Thomas Bush himself. A vestry and school hall were added later, the latter being also used from 1849 until 1929 as a day school. It was replaced in 1992. The Newbury Street chapel was refurbished in 2008 to enable it to serve both church and community use.
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