Tiny village chapel hoping for a bright future after renovations

WORSHIPPERS at a tiny village chapel are looking forward to moving back into their renovated building in a few weeks’ time.

Kinsham Chapel, near Bredon, is currently undergoing essential repairs, included damp proofing, plasterboarding and redecorating.

Since the beginning of March, the congregation of a dozen or so people have been forced to move out of the building and hold their Sunday afternoon services in St Giles Church, Bredon, at 3pm, by kind permission of the Rector.

The chapel was built around 1840 and church stalwart Jean Pitt, who makes the 60-mile round trip from Stroud every Sunday, helps to arrange visiting speakers and look after the church finances.

Mrs Pitt – who grew up in the church from the age of three weeks – said: “When I took it on I said I would do it for six months and that was 19 years ago.”

Her grandfather, Arthur Merrell, was part of the congregation in 1904 when the chapel was reopened as a mission chapel of nearby Westmancote, and her father, Ben Merrell, was later to become a key part of the congregation and was in great demand as a local preacher.

“When I took it on there were only four of us,” said Mrs Pitt. “We’ve had different people come and go. I’m now hoping more will come.”

Mrs Pitt said the building – which has previously had a new floor and roof – was getting in a “bad state”. But she is hoping the renovations, which are due for completion in a few weeks’ time, will attract more people to come and worship.

She said they now wanted to concentrate on evangelical work and saw the new housing developments in nearby Bredon as a “mission field”.

“We are praying people will come to join us. What we want is two or three Christian families to move into the area and we will be away,” she said. “We used to have a Sunday School of over 30 and we had over 70 at our Harvest Festival.”

Having seen different places of worship close down over the years in nearby villages such as Bredon, Kemerton and Westmancote, Mrs Pitt, now aged 78, is determined that the same should not happen in Kinsham.

“I know I can’t go on forever, but I’m sure there are some people out there who can help,” she added

The chapel has been supported by various lay preachers over the years and more recently Cambray Baptist Church in Cheltenham and Wood Green, Worcester, has provided the occasional visiting preacher. Other Preachers from various churches come on a regular basis.

“We are so thankful to God for all those who serve him in this way,” added Mrs Pitt.

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