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Progress and Division

The Trust of 1858 looked after the premises for 37 years, until by 1895 only eight were still alive, and one of those had emigrated! One of them, William Ollis, was still willing to serve, the others, after a lifetime of devoted service, retired.

Considerable progress had been made. The Church Hall had been built as a room for the Sunday School. Here again the work was largely voluntary. The Author seen the plans from which it was built, and the estimate of materials. These plans were in private hands and it is doubtful that they still exist.

The variations during the building were quite obvious. For instance, four windows were planned along Wesley Lane, but only three were actually built. On the other side one window was afterwards made into a doorway, it is believed because of subsidence (there is thought to have been a well under it). This took place around 1865.

The exterior of the schoolroom as it is today

Also, in 1891, John Ashley’s old house was bought for £240 for a caretakers house.

John Ashley’s house as it is today

At some time in this period a small pipe Organ was installed at the back of the gallery, with seats for a Choir. It is said that the first Harvest Thanksgiving Services were held in 1871 (Peoples memories again).

Unfortunately, in 1898 there was a deep division in the local membership which eventually led to the founding of the Independent Methodist Church at Mill Lane.

It is said that, within a year, members of the two Churches met for Prayer, but although friendly relations were established the separation was never healed. Warmley Tower Ebenezar Methodist Church had already opened in 1858 further down Tower Road following the split in Methodism that happened nationally forming the United Methodist Free Churches. Both the other local Methodist Churches therefore sprang originally from the work at Wesley. Ebenezar closed in 2008, leaving Mill Lane the only representative of the Methodist tradition in Warmley.

The Bristol Mercury, Tuesday, April 25, 1899