By Rebecca Hannant
A historic Methodist chapel in Skipsea is to conduct a farewell celebration service to mark its closure this month.
The site of the church has played an important part in the village’s religious history, and the significance of the Bridlington Road site can be traced back to 1823 when the first chapel was built. The former chapel had about 190 seats and it was recorded that on March 30, 1851, 140 people attended the evening service.
The present chapel opened in March 1910 and was it was built by Harry Cammidge at a cost of about £800 (about £66,000 in today’s money). This new chapel could seat about 100 people and recorded 40 members at the time.
In recent years, though, a decline in membership has resulted in only 10 people managing the upkeep of the chapel. The decision to close was made by its trustees because there have been insufficient active members to hold the required offices.
Rev Ian Greenfield said: “It is always with the greatest sadness that a decision is made to close a place of worship. Methodism has had a voice in Skipsea since 1801 and a chapel has been on this site since 1823. The decision to close a chapel or a church is never one that is taken lightly, and it is not for want of dedicated worshippers or the possibilities of missional outreach into the community.
“It is not a situation unique to Skipsea, or indeed Methodism as a whole, nor is it the reserve of the smaller village chapel. Larger churches and other denominations are facing the same challenges.
“However, that which remains is a continuing witness to the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, evident in the lives of those who care pastorally for one another, who continue, if they can, to play a part in the life of the village community, and where spiritual care and guidance will continue to be given by the ordained and lay members of the Christian fellowship in the area.”
The farewell service will be held on Sunday, June 19, led by Rev Greenfield. Refreshments will be served afterwards at the village hall in Bridlington Road.