Methodist Church Ixworth (1860)

The first meeting house for the Wesleyans in Ixworth was a house occupied by a John Howlett, certified for worship on 4th June 1814. Ixworth first appeared on the Wesleyan Plan in 1831 with a membership of 12. In the same year the first chapel was built along the road leading to Woolpit. In 1835 there were 27 members. Between 1835 and 1838 there was a great revival in the area and in the latter year Ixworth reported 84 members. By 1840 this was reduced to 39 members. There was much movement of members at this time, among the chapels in surrounding villages - Pakenham, Bardwell, Badwell Ash, Walsham le Willows - in particular. There had been trouble in the Wesleyan Connexion as a whole 1844 - 1848, and this too led to a decline in membership in the Ixworth area as many Wesleyans broke away to join the Wesleyan Reformers ' meeting houses. Baptists and Primitive Methodists were also, by now, working in the area, so there was a good deal of competition. The Ixworth Wesleyans clearly held on, for they opened their new chapel in the High Street, in 1888. On 12th May the Bury Free Press reports on the stone laying. The Primitive Methodist Chapel in the Thetford Road was opened in 1879 and closed on Methodist Union, in 1934.

Whilst I have been cheered by the heart-stirring accounts of the good work going on in different parts of our favoured land, I have been sorry to read so little from our own county; the blessed work certainly has been going on of late in many villages around us, but I can give particulars only as regards Ixworth. Here we have had an increase in our little society (Primitive Methodists) of twenty-two members within the last six months, among whom are included some who were almost the vilest characters in the village. We held a tea-meeting on Whitstm-Tuesday; we were all with one accord, in one place, and the Holy Ghost came down among us of a truth. One great effect of the awakening which has taken place in this parish was seen on the 13th of May, on which day our yearly fair has been held from time immemorial, and has been notorious for drunkenness, quarrelling, and fighting. This year all passed off in a quiet and peaceable manner. Our quarterly meeting was held at Ixworth on Monday, June 11th; in the evening we had such an outpouring of the Holy Ghost as we never remember before in this place. Our numbers are still increasing. To God be all the glory. J.K.

From 'The Revival', Volume II, page 206.

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