Methodism in Ellesmere
The Visitation of the Archdeaconry of Salop in 1799 attempts to assess the number of dissenters (worshippers who attend a church other than the Church of England). The entry for Ellesmere states:
‘A small congregation of Church going methodists has lately been established. The congregation with all their families amount to 50, mostly influenced by a Mr. Langford their leader.’
This was quite a late date for a society of Methodists to be associated with a Church of England congregation, by this time many other societies had established their own churches.
A separate Wesleyan Methodist society must have formed later as the Home Office Ecclesiastical Census Returns of 1851 indicate that the Wesleyan Methodists built a church on Watergate Street in 1844. By 1851 the average evening congregation was reported as 150 so it is likely that the congregation met elsewhere prior to the construction of the Watergate Street building.
Primitive Methodists also formed a church in Ellesmere (probably in the 1820’s). They would initially have met in member’s houses, however, in 1840 the congregation obtained its own premises and named the chapel Mount Zion. This building has now become Scott’s garage.
A further branch of Methodism, the Wesleyan Methodist Association, occupied Ebenezer Chapel on Scotland Street between 1835 and 1872. When the Wesleyan Methodist Association united with part of the Wesleyan Reformers in 1857 this chapel became known as the Ebenezer United Free Methodist Church. The church was located at the spot now known as 75 Scotland Street.