Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: October 12, 2021
Webpage updated: October 12, 2021




Elburton Methodist Chapel, formerly the Elburton Bible Christian Chapel, is in Springfield Road, Elburton, Plymstock, Plymouth.

A document in the former Plymouth and West Devon Reord Office records that the first meeting of Wesleyan Methodists in Elburton took place in 1821.  These were held in cottages, barns or in the open-air. 

Sometime around 1843 the Bible Christians started to meet in the area.

Over a period of some twenty-five years the Bible Christian congregation grew and from time to time efforts were made to find a site for a permanent chapel.  This proved unsuccessful until early in 1868, when three cottages were offered for sale in a suitable location.  They were quickly purchased and demolished and at 3pm on Tuesday September 29th 1868 the foundation stone was laid for a brand new chapel.

The ceremony was performed by Mrs Yeo, of Stoke Damerel, the wife of Mr Joseph Yeo, baker, after which tea was laid on for some 150 people in a barn lent for the occasion by Mr Hendy, one of the congregation.  As usual this was followed by an evening meeting.

On Sunday April 18th 1869 the Chapel was opened for worship, with services in the morning and evening.  The cost of the purchase of the site and the erection of the Chapel was 350.  It had a small cottage alongside and it was intended to rent this out at 3 10s per year to bring in extra funds.  However, in 1922 the cottage was converted into a vestry, which remained in use until 1931.

On Easter Monday 1903 a new schoolroom was opened in an iron building purchased from a building contractor at Devil's Point, East Stonehouse.  It was only intended as a temporary building but, as with a lot of so-called structures, it lasted for over 70 years and was not removed until 1972.

Elburton Bible Christian Chapel became the Elburton Methodist Chapel in 1907 when the Bible Christian movement amalgamated with the United Methodist Free Church and the Methodist New Connexion to form the United Methodist Church.

A major renovation took place in 1931, during which the entrance was moved from the front to the side of the building.  The renovated chapel and its new vestries at the rear were opened by Mrs J H Beckly on Saturday December 5th 1931.

Several different harmoniums accompanied the singing until 1941 when the pipe organ from the war damaged Haddington Road Bible Christian Chapel at Devonport was installed at a cost of 257 14s 6d.  It was dedicated by the Reverend E Marshall Moyle, the former superintendent of the Devonport Circuit, on the afternoon of Saturday November 29th 1941.  Mr David Parkes, Mus.Bac.(Oxon), FRCO, Director of Music at the Plymouth Methodist Central Hall then played Mendlesohn's Second Organ Sonata and two pieces composed by the blind organists, Hollins and Stanley.

Following the demolition of the iron church hall, Messrs F J Coleman and Son erected a new hall at a cost of some 31,000.   The architect was Mr C C Creber.  A commemorative plaque was unveiled on Saturday September 23rd 1972 by Miss Frances L Moore, the oldest member of the Chapel, and Mr D Hosking.  The ceremony was followed by a service conducted by the circuit superintendent, the Reverend David Hadfield, assisted by the local minister, the Reverend C Holgate.

The official opening ceremony was due to take place in March 1973.

On February 9th 1975 a new Allen electric organ was dedicated, it having been purchased from America at a cost of 4,050.

Elburton Methodist Chapel was redecorated and reopened 1986.