Minutes, accounts, correspondence and other papers relating to Methodism in
Bideford Wesleyan Methodist Circuit,
Bideford United Methodist Circuit,
Bideford Methodist Circuit,
Bridge Street Chapel, Bideford,
High Street Chapel,
Bideford, Bideford Bible Christian Chapel,
Eastleigh Wesleyan Methodist Church,
Northam Wesleyan Methodist Church and
Torrington Methodist Church.
|Administrative / biographical background:
History of the Circuit
Originally part of the Barnstaple Wesleyan Methodist Circuit formed in 1811, Bideford separated from Barnstaple to form its own circuit in 1826. The Bideford Wesleyan Methodist Circuit continued until 1932 when the present Methodist Church was formed by union of the Wesleyan Methodist, United Methodist and Primitive Methodist Churches and the present circuit was established.
The Bible Christians, founded in 1815, amalgamated with the United Methodist Free Church and Methodist New Connexion to form the United Methodist Church in 1907.
The Bideford Wesleyan Methodist Circuit varied in size during the course of its existence. In 1826 it included societies at Alwington, Bideford, Buckland Brewer, Clovelly, Littleham, Monkleigh, Northam, Parkham and Great Torrington. By 1850 it covered in addition Alverdiscott, Fremington, Frithelstock, Instow, Petrockstow, St. Giles in the Wood, Little Torrington, Westleigh and Woolfardisworthy. By 1875, Landcross and Wear Gifford were included, but Fremington and Frithelstock had dropped out, to be followed in 1888 by Monkleigh, Petrockstow, St. Giles, Great and Little Torrington, and Wear Gifford. The 1932 union with the United Methodists added Fremington again, but no new parish.
Owing to the absence of circuit schedules, it is not possible to compile a similar list of Bible Christian and United Methodist societies from the collection. However, the registers of baptisms (Ref. 2237 D/42 and 43) mention chapels or preaching houses at Bideford, Buckland Brewer, Fremington, Huntshaw, Monkleigh, Northam, Parkham, Great Torrington and Wear Gifford.