circuit day 2008
pot pourri on St. Martin's
Martin's Methodist Church History
the nineteenth century, Methodism had several branches which were
active and the work of one of these - the Bible Christians - founded
this chapel. Drawn largely from the poorer members of Scillonian
society - at a period when there was a great deal of poverty and
destitution on the islands - the Bible Christians had to build their
places of worship largely by the labours of their own hands. The
original chapel seems to have been a simple, thatched construction
(c1821) and was replaced in 1836 by the present building on the
same site which - apart from the roof - was built entirely by members.
was reseated in 1876, previously there would have been benches.
The small Sunday School Hall (on the left of the photo) was
added in 1881. Thus this chapel stands as a tribute to the faithfulness
and dedication of a group of Islanders who, despite their poverty,
built a place where they could worship freely.
plain exterior speaks powerfully of its origins as do some of
the internal features. The simple pulpit has central place -
an indication of the importance of "the word", whether
the reading of the Bible or preaching by the minister or local
preacher. The pews are intended to cater for as many people
as possible. Originally there were pews on either side of the
pulpit for a choir.
the days of organs in churches there would probably have been
a "singer's seat" below the pulpit where someone
would strike up a note for hymns. The oil lamps were still
in use until mains electricity was brought from the mainland
School hall was used for teaching the children - in the early
days before compulsory schooling it was often where children
(and sometimes adults) were taught the basics of reading and
writing as well as scripture stories.
is now Grade II listed which means it has to be carefully
(and expensively!) maintained and improved.
strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for
the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.