Marton Methodist Church history since 1842

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Marton Methodist Church is one of the oldest remaining Methodist Churches in Middlesbrough.

The first services thought to be at least as early as 1839, were actually held in the front room of the village inn, the old Rudd’s Arms, kept by Mr. William Atkinson. Willy and an old woman known locally as “Old Mary”, were the first two Methodists in the village.

The First Chapel

The first chapel was built in 1842 with seating for a congregation of 50 people. The Trustees for the Chapel were granted a 1000 year lease for the land by Mr John Mewburn of West Rounton on the 8th February 1843 with
an annual rent of 1s. From the lease document we see that the original Marton Trustees in 1842

  • Thomas Marley – Tailor and Draper
  • Henry Bland – Slater
  • John Graham – Shoemaker
  • Robert George Jackson – Block and Mast-maker
  • John Smith – Grocer
  • John Shemelds Taylor – Tallow Chandler
  • James Bamborough – Farmer
  • Robert Featherstone Jr – Farmer
  • Thomas Moon – Farmer
  • George Weatherell – Shoemaker
  • William Atkinson – Farmer

In 1888 when it was already recognised that the Chapel needed renovation, earth was removed from the sides & back of the building to improve the access but this caused the walls to give way! The church would have to be re-built! A further lease for a strip of land around the original site was granted by the Bolckow Trustees for 953 years at an annual rent of 1s 6d.

The Second Chapel

The foundation stone of the second chapel was laid by Sir Raylton Dixon of Gunnergate Hall on 11th June 1890 and a budget of £150 was set for the rebuilding work. While the chapel was being built, services were held in the waiting room of Ormesby (now Marton) Railway Station.
The second chapel was opened in August 1890. It measured about 22 ft. square with seating for 60 people but still had no vestry or toilets!

As part of the opening celebrations, it was decided that a tea should be held – either in the Day School at the corner of The Grove (now a Nursery), or if not available, in the Granary near Gunnergate, the Blacksmiths shop, or in a tent in the ground at the back of the Chapel (the advert below from the Gazette on the 2nd Aug 1890, shows it was actually held in a Marquee).

From then on, for many years, Marton Chapel held regular afternoon teas for outreach and fund raising. In 1912 the leasehold of the land on which the chapel stood and additional land to the back and west side was purchased from the Bolckow Trustees
for £80 8s. The old building was pulled down to enable work to to start on a replacement.

The Third Chapel

The new chapel to seat 140 and a school room for 60 was built a little further back from the road and was opened on 24th September 1913 at an estimated cost of £1000.

On the 15th March 1920 further land to the south and east of the chapel was purchased for £47 17s 6d from the Bolckow Estate to build a Caretaker’s cottage, which after much fund raising was completed in 1928 at a cost of £530 8s 2d. In 1962 a rear extension for the Chapel was completed, providing a meeting room, kitchen and toilets.

The Fourth Chapel

On March 21st 1970 at the cost of £28,000 the present church was opened on a site next to the third chapel. In plan view it is roughly the shape of the old Methodist ‘shell’ badge. It can seat 190 people, has 2 vestries, toilets and full central heating. The old 1913 church and vestry were turned into the present church hall and a classroom – currently used by the Methodist Live at Home scheme. In 2006, the toilets at the rear of the premises were modified to create facilities for the disabled.