Two chapels* were founded in Bournheath in the 1830’s. This followed many years where villagers, particularly nail makers, gathered together for religious worship in local cottages.

The chapels were: –

A Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on the corner of the present Claypit Lane and Fairfield Road was erected in 1836 at a cost of £117. ”Accommodation for 114 persons, most sittings free”.
A Primitive Methodist Chapel in the present Fairfield Road (formally Lower Lane) was opened in July 1837 and cost £120. There were “150 sittings – all free”.
The founder trustees of the Primitive Methodist chapel in 1837 were villagers, one of whom was Henry Ince (1801 – 1887) whose photograph, and a brass plaque commemorating his death, were displayed in the church. [see “Henry Ince of Bournheath”].

The two chapels survived until 1962 when, owing to decline in congregation numbers at each chapel, a decision was made to unite into one building. The Primitive Methodist chapel was chosen and the organ was removed from the Wesleyan chapel and transferred to the Fairfield Road chapel.
In 1964 the trustees agreed to rename the chapel to Bournheath Methodist Church.

On 3rd March 1996 a devastating fire destroyed the organ and choir area of the church and the remainder of the building fabric was damaged. A Building Committee was set up to organise and oversee the complete refurbishment of the church. On 7th and 8th March 1998 the newly refurbished church, with its new pipe organ, was rededicated.

Bournheath Methodist Church – 1998
The church sadly closed its doors in September 2015 after 178 years of continuous Methodist worship in Bournheath village. The building has now been converted into two desirable self-contained dwellings.

*The two chapel buildings appear on maps from 1850 to the present day. Many original documents for the two chapels are held in the Local Records Office at The Hive, Worcester.
© Photographs (TJB)
Source – © ‘Notes on the Church History’, Bournheath Methodist Church, Feb. 1998. Bromsgrove Library.
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