Webpage created: July 23, 2017.
Webpage updated: July 23, 2017
COURTENAY STREET CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL
Officially the name was the Union Congregational Chapel because it backed on to Union Place and adjoined Union Street in Plymouth but it was always referred to as the Courtenay Street Congregational Chapel as that is where it was actually located, in Courtenay Street.
The pastor of the Batter Street Congregational Chapel, the Reverend Thomas Collins Hine, realised in about 1845 that his Chapel had become "down town". By this time the Town Gates had been demolished and this enabled the expansion northwards. With the encouragement of three of the deacons from the Norley Congregational Chapel, the Reverend T C Hine purchased a site near Saltash Street, outside the Old Town Gate, for £835. However, his congregation did not approve of this idea and he was immediately asked to resign, which he did.
That site was then exchanged for what was regarded as a better one near the eastern end of Union Street, where Mr David Derry laid the foundation stone on the afternoon of Friday June 25th 1847. It contained a hermetically sealed container in which was placed the Chapel's dedication document. Afterwards a tea meeting was held at the Mechanics' Institute, with Mr H M Gibson in the chair and some 130 people in attendance.
The Chapel cost £2,000 to erect. It was designed in the Norman style by Mr George Wightwick, with assistance from Mr W Dwelley junior, and built by Mr Josiah Steer. Over the entrance lobby was a small gallery capable of holding 150 scholars for a Sunday School. The official opening took place at 10.30am on Thursday September 14th 1848. The dedication prayer was offered by the Reverend S Nicholson.
Afterwards a dinner was provided in the Sunday School of the George Street Baptist Chapel, which was attended by around 200 people. Mr David Derry took the chair.
Courtenay Street Congregational Chapel was destroyed during the Plymouth Blitz of March 1941. No trace was ever found of the foundation stone. The City council made a compulsory purchase of the site for £6,200. The War Damage Compensation received paid for a new hall at the Laira Congregational Chapel.