Motcombe Circuit - Primitive Methodists (1835)

This was not a huge revival, but it went on for three years.

Motcombe circuit considerably extended its borders by missionary efforts during the period to which this chapter refers. In 1832, the circuit being both small and unable to support the two preachers who were labouring in it, it was determined in the spring of 1833, to liberate Mr Richard Davies, the superintendent, from a part of his regular work, that he might visit fresh places. In the first week of May he preached at Henstridge, Strickland, Helton, Kingston, and Durweston, and was encouraged with some prospect of success. Shortly afterwards he visited Abbey Milton, Hepton, Ansty, Whitechurch and other places. On Sunday, the 7lh of July, he performed an amount of labour which would soon weaken the strongest constitution. In the morning he preached at Ansty to a number of well-behaved persons, who stood still and listened attentively, notwithstanding the wetness of the weather. He preached at Strickland in the afternoon, where some young persons in a carriage attempted in vain to disturb the congregation. At five o'clock he addressed a large congregation at Helton; and at seven, at Abbey Milton. Having walked nineteen miles, and preached four times in the open-air he felt much fatigued and was obliged to seek lodgings at a public house.

Many of the places named surround the town of Blandford, in Dorsetshire, which was also visited by the preachers in Motcombe circuit, and soon became the head of a branch. The opposition which the missionaries met in this district was great, and their privations and sufferings were manifold and severe, but they persevered in their pious labours and the Lord crowned their efforts with encouraging success. Ere Mr Davies left the circuit, in July 1834, the new places visited supported an additional preacher, and the old places had so much improved as to be able to support two. The ensuing year was also prosperous. In the circuit report for 1835, the authorities say, "The Saviour of sinners has graciously visited our circuit, and each branch has an increase of fifty members." The Home Branch and Blandford Branch are those to which reference is made in this extract The year following was equally prosperous. The circuit reported a hundred increase of members. The Home Branch had been the more successful, but in Blandford Branch the good work had been steadily advancing.

From, ‘The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion from its origin, by John Petty, 1860, p260

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