History

 

Left: Laying the church foundation stone in 1896. Right: A fancy dress gathering from the 1920’s, featuring three members of the Butt family: Gladys, Osmond and Leslie.


The original Ebenezer Methodist Chapel in Box opened in 1834, but by the end of the 19th century it was thought to be too small, so land was purchased adjoining the original building and facing the London to Bath road and the new Church was opened on February 6th 1897. Cottages, which were in front of the old building, were demolished in 1905, as well as the original church building, and a new two story building was erected for the expanding Sunday School. This building was used extensively by the church and also accommodated, for a number of years, classes from the nearby Church of England School. 

The Church in 1905. Note the original chapel on the right.

The organ appeared in the 1920’s, replacing the harmonium ably played by Miss Noble for many years. The organ, with its mahogany case, is a single manual instrument dating from the 1850’s and it was rebuilt in 1986 and placed in its present position, in the gallery above the main entrance, in 2002. By 2000, it became obvious that the Sunday School building was not suitable for access for the disabled and to update it would cost many tens of thousands of pounds. That building was sold in 2001 and converted into a dwelling. The money raised was used to completely refurbish the Church building and to make it user-friendly for the 21st century. In October 2002, Rev. Ian Cramb, former Minister of the Church, performed the re-opening ceremony to a packed Church, with our Anglican friends joining us for the momentous occasion.

Currently, the Church is in use each day of the week by various community organisations, and Sunday morning sees the Church pleasantly full for the 11am service.  Originally the Methodist Church in Box was one of 4 such societies. One closed in the 1950’s; the Box Hill and Kingsdown Chapels closed in November 1967 and joined with Box to make one society. The Church, although in the County of Wiltshire, was part of the Bath Circuit for all its life, until September 2008, when that circuit joined with the Midsomer Norton and Radstock Circuit, and the church at Keynsham, to form the North East Somerset and Bath Circuit.