Thursday, 3 September 2009
August 30th - Newbiggin Chapel
Pretty well the first invitation I received and accepted when I was designated as President last year, was to the 250th anniversary of Newbiggin chapel, in ther Barnard Castle Circuit in the Darlington District. The chapel is believed to be the oldest Methodist chapel in continuous use for worship in the world.
The indenture by which the land for the chapel was bouth was signed on 30th Auust 1759 and a copy was on display (along with many other important heritage items which are there to be seen - visits can be arranged and are well worth the effort.
One of the chapel's treasures is the old pulpit, from which John Wesley preached on various occasions. I stood in it to have my photo taken but worship is now generally led from a more modern and centralised pulpit.
The chapel is relatively small, but 79 people came to the service as we gave thanks for a long and significant history of Methodism in Teesdale. I used as a text Revelation 21.5: 'Behold I am making all things new.' The big question is how do we best use our heritage to share our story and our faith now?