Stormore Chapel

History of the Mission Chapel at Stormore, Westbury

This history was taken from some papers held at the Westbury library, the title of the book was unknown and the papers were photocopied and in a loose leaf file. The work is out of copyright and I have copied it exactly as written.


Stormore is a hamlet at the extreme lower end of Dilton Marsh, and about a mile from the Chapels at Westbury Leigh and Penknap. The very young, and the aged and infirm living here found it difficult at times to attend the Sunday and week-evening services so far from home, especially in the winter. In 1826 a house was opened for preaching to meet their needs, and this plan continued for about 2 years, when the late Mr. Samuel Scott, who was for so many years an accepted local preacher in this locality, opened a loft above his carpenters shop for the meetings. In this place the work was carried on for some eleven years, till 1839 when land was procured and a small chapel erected, called "Scott's Meeting" which was used for teaching and preaching purposes. The writer recollects some strange lectures delivered by the late Mr. John Neat of Westbury, to children some 35 years ago.
This chapel was near the open stream at Stormore, where both the above (Westbury Leigh and Penkap) churches for many years baptised, close to Black Dog Woods. The candidates used to meet at this chapel, where an early prayer meeting was held before the service; then walk from thence to the water, in procession, with a number of their friends. The writer can recollect being present at many of these services from 20 to 35 years ago. They were attended by a vast concourse of people, the whole circle about the open baptistry being generally enclosed by conveyances from many miles around, bringing spectators. They were solemn and blessed meetings. This baptistry is still used by the churches at Penknap and Chapmanslade. It was in connection with this village mission station that Mr. Dendy, a grocer's assistant first began to preach the Gospel, previous to his going to Jamaica as a missionary. Here, also, in more recent years, Mr. Herbert Anderson (son of our missionary Rev. J.H. Anderson of Barisal) who was set apart for Mission work in India, at Bristol, in 1886, began to speak in Christ's name. Mr. S. Thomas, also associated with this place and the church at Leigh, was set apart for similar work at Swansea in 1885. Mr. Thomas was baptised by his brother, Mr. William Thomas, then the Pastor of Westbury Leigh, and now of Penzance.

The chapel had become very unsafe, and was in a very dilapidated condition, when the Rev. T.J. Hazzard, the then Pastor at Leigh, took up the matter very zealously, and canvassed for subscriptions. The old chapel was taken down and rebuilt in 1884, at a cost of 224 14s. 4half d., and was reopened for public worship on the 1st of October that year, free of debt, the Rev. J. Butlin M.A., of Trowbridge, preaching the opening sermon in the afternoon. The writer took part in the service, with the Rev. J. Bowen of Westbury; A. English, Trowbridge; and others. In the evening a large meeting was held in Leigh Chapel, at which W.R. Brown presided. The property at Stormore is secured to the church at Westbury Leigh by separate deeds, and also by incorporation with the Leigh Chapel Trust. There is a preaching service every Sunday afternoon, and many other services which are well attended; and, while it is the child of the church at Leigh, the Pastors and people at both places do their best to carry it on. May it be the birthplace of many souls.

 

The Villages of Dilton and Dilton Marsh