Romsey, Hants

Early attempts to establish Methodism in Romsey were inhibited not only by theAnglican presence at the Abbey, but by an Independent congregation which traced its roots back to 1662 and to the Above Bar Independents in Southampton. Wesley's Journal mentions only five passing visits to the town between1766 and 1787, preaching there only once, in 1768. The following year the house of Elizabeth Hickman was registered for Wesleyan worship by Jasper Winscom and John Catermole, but this seems to have been an empty gesture.

An attempt by James Crabb, a freelance evangelist, to persuade the Conference to station a preacher in the town, was turned down. Two further houses were registered in the next forty years, including the house of Moses Comley,which was licensed as a place of worship on 13 January 1800. The earliest chapel was not built until 1813, on the initiative, and initially at the expense, of Peter Jewell, son of a local farming family who had converted to Methodism. Two years later he conveyed the property to a group of Trustees, who agreed to complete and furnish the premises, only to run into financial difficulties which hampered them for many years.

Having been in the Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester Circuits,, Romsey became the head of a circuit in 1873. The present Church in The Hundred was opened in 1881.

A Romsey Branch of the Andoverer PM Circuit wasformed in 1843.


John Wesley's Journal:

26 October 1768: 'At one I preached in Romsey to a very quiet, unaffected audience.'