Milestones


DORSET GARDENS (WESLEYAN) METHODIST CHURCH, 1808-THE PRESENT. 

1. CHRONOLOGY

1808

28 August: First building 'Dorset Gardens Wesleyan Methodist Chapel' ('Arminian Chapel') was opened by Rev. Joseph Benson.

1823

First building extended.  Greek columns added.

1884

First building demolished.  This is an initiative of Rev. Thomas E. Westerdale.

1885

29 June: Second Building 'Dorset Gardens Wesleyan Methodist Chapel' opened by Rev. Frederic Greeves, President of the Conference.  Italianate design.

1924

Dorset Gardens becomes the centre for the Dome Mission, under Rev. J. Morris Bold.

1928

Work starts on complete restructuring of Dorset Gardens.  All but the sanctuary itself rebuilt or extended onto spare land.  The purpose is to create the Mission Headquarters for the 'Dome Mission'.

1930

5 February: The greatly extended Second Building opened by Rev. Dr. J. Scott Lidgett.

2000

Second Building demolished.

2003

5 April: Third Building (current building) opened by Rev. Mary Bailey (previous Minister), Preacher Rev. Dr. Colin Morris.  For the first time in its history, a new building or major extension was opened debt-free.

2.  DOME MISSION
1908

Founded by Rev. E. Aldom French, Minister at Norfolk Road Wesleyan Methodist Church, Brighton.

1914

Dome Mission closed during War.

1921

Dome Mission re-started.  Rev. J. Morris Bold Minister specifically of the Dome Mission.

1924

Dome Mission based at Dorset Gardens.  Rev. Bold Minister both at Dorset Gardens and the Dome Mission.  Congregation 1,500-2,500.  Often 2,500, plus overflow of some hundreds in WWII under the ministry of Rev. George H. Simpson

1970's

To 1990's.  Gradual decline of Dome congregation.  Dome Mission ceases 1990's.

For most of the rest of the century the Dome Mission played a very important part of the town's life.  E.G. Remembrance Day, Celebrity Carol Services, etc.

3.  MINISTERS SINCE 1948

1948 - 1953   Revd Frederick Pratt Green
1953 - 1967   Revd Dr. Leslie Newman
1967 - 1975   Revd Frank Thewlis
1975 - 1981   Revd Dr. R. John Tudor
1981 - 1986   Revd Charles Banks
1986 - 1994   Revd Peter W. Shilling
1994 - 2002   Revd Mary Bailey
2002 - 2012   Revd Cynthia Park
2012 - 2017   Revd Robin Selmes  

2017 - 2023   Revd Deborah Cornish
2023 - Present   Revd Andy Lowe 
 

Michael R. Hickman
Circuit Archivist

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