. . . where the rain gets in.
The friendly gent organising the removal of the scaffolding around Trinity Methodist Church was happy to tell me what the job had been about. Apparently the very long lintel, which extends from a promontory outside the building, all the way through into the interior, has had some very odd mastic sealant applied at some point which may have contributed to the ingress of water across the front of the building.
I noticed, just above the doorway, the words ‘Wesleyan Chapel’ across the front, and commented on them, describing how the chapel must have been built after John Wesley came through the village on his revival and temperance crusade. To my surprise, my comment drew a complete blank — “John Wesley?” So I went on a little about his ministry, how he brought Wesleyan Methodism to these valleys. Still no response. I guess local history has a way of being forgotten, or even misconstrued, as I realised to my chagrin on re-reading Nora Handcock’s excellent Allendale: Twentieth Century Memories. Apparently Methodism was actually brought to the Dales in 1747 by one Christopher Hopper, whose work was then amplified dramatically in 1748 by the more famous evangelist John Wesley. In fact, Wesley stayed at Hindley Hill in Keenley, from whence he toured around the area, notably to Alston. The Keenley Methodist Chapel was built in 1750, second only to a Chapel in Newcastle. Trinity Methodist followed along in 1760, and nine more chapels were built throughout the Dales in this first phase of Methodism, before yet another revival took place and another eleven Primitive Methodist Chapels were built.
This history of Methodist Chapels throughout these Dales is certainly fascinating, but only a very few are now still places of worship today. I’ve been inside Allendale’s Trinity on a number of occasions, both solemn and joyful, and I do hope that the leak at the front of the building has been fixed for perpetuity now.