A Brief History
During the period 1840-50 there was a great revival in primitive Methodism in Warwickshire and in 1851 Mr Edmund Timms of Grandborough obtained a licence for his premises to be used as a ‘preaching house’. In 1871 Joseph Arch’s daughter preached with great effect from a wagon in the village.
Mr Timms sold 58 yards of his garden at 1s 3d (7p) per yard for building purposes. The Chapel was built for £90 and was officially opened on 6th July 1856. The next day 90 people were accommodated in the small Chapel for a tea meeting. Where they all sat is difficult to imagine with the small size of the interior!
There have been many preachers and ministers since the first sermon was delivered and one name which will always be remembered is that of Elijah Cadman the converted chimney sweep, who eventually became Commissioner in the Salvation Army.
A commemorative plaque set in the front panel of the pulpit records Cadman’s own words, “I was telling the congregation that after the devil ventured his last temptation Jesus order him off, and gave him a kick that sent him bowling through the air. My foot being in harmony with my subject, gave a kick as to send the front panel of the pulpit flying down the aisle whereupon some of the members shouted Glory!”
Grandborough Chapel is part of the Rugby and Daventry Circuit and is now known as the Methodist Church and is very active in the village. There is a small Sunday School called “Sunshine Corner” the size of which varies from year to year.
In the late 1980’s it was decided to modernise the Chapel. A porch was built over the front door to stop drafts and the existing windows were replaced by double glazed structures; the woodworm infested wood was treated and the total cost of these improvements was £1100. However, the original building still needed modern facilities particularly for the comfort and use by visiting preachers.
Mr Clarke, who owned the land adjacent to the Chapel kindly offered a plot measuring 10 ft by 39 ft which was large enough to take the proposed extension. On Mr Clarke’s death the family honoured the agreement and the land was eventually handed over once the Estate was finalised.
Plans were drawn up and passed by the local Council and the Methodist Church Property Division. Estimates revealed that £12,000 was needed for the toilet facilities and general modernisation but after discussions with Rev. John Job, the Superintendent Minister it was decided to go ahead with the work using a mixture of contract workers and the talents of local members, where possible. Fund-raising became a priority, including Praise and Coffee Evenings, Barbecues, Strawberry Teas, Sponsored Knitting, Concerts, and many other exciting activities. In addition, the support and help of the friends and fellow Christians from the Rugby and Daventry Circuit was unstinting and their generosity is acknowledged.
Work began on the foundation in August 1990 and revealed the first major problem. Contractors cut through the powerline and plunged the village into darkness! The Electricity Board eventually re-routed the power supply to avoid any further mishaps.
As work progressed grants came from many organisations including the Rank Trust, the Rugby and Daventry Circuit of the Methodist Church and the Methodist Property Division. The generous grants together with the inexhaustible fund-raising enabled additional work to be carried out – the Chapel floor was replaced and carpeted, the interior decorated and the old pulpit was stripped and restored. The old pews were removed, sold and replaced by chairs.
On 29th June 1991 an Open Day was planned. Teas were served in a marquee and at 7 pm the Chapel was officially opened by Rev. John Job. Rev. Mary Bailey led the service and greetings were given from the President of the Methodist Conference, the Chairman of the District and Rev. Tony Hobson, Vicar of St Peter’s Church. The evening was rounded off with a Ploughman’s Supper.
To date, the Chapel continues with its weekly services and Sunday School and once a month joins the congregation of St Peter’s to worship together.