Portland Year Book


Portland Year Book 1905

St. George's Parish Church
St. John's Church, Fortune's Well
St Peter's Church, The Grove
The "Avalanche " Memorial Church
Roman Catholic Church
Wesleyan Methodist Church
Primitive Methodist Church
Congregational Church
Bible Christian Connexion
Salvation Army
The Brethren
Sailors & Soldiers' Home

St. George's church.

The Chancel of St. George's, the Parish Church of the Island - contains a tablet recording that " This church was founded in the year of our Lord 1754 and consecrated 1766, at the expense of the inhabitants.

Benefactors: His late Majesty King George the Second, 500; George Pitt and Humphrey Sturt, Esquires, Knights of the Shire, 40 and to a Charity School, 30; John and Richard Tucker, Esquires, 100"

The consecration ceremony was performed on July 29th 1766 by the Right Rev Dr Newton, Bishop Bristol. In the parish accounts for 1766 there is the following item: " Paid to the people for assisting and carrying the Bishop over the passage as by his desire, 5s." It would appear that the Bishop was carried across the Ferry on the shoulders of stalwart Portlanders.

The erection of St. George's was rendered necessary by the ruinous condition of the old parish church of Andrews situate on the east side of the Island near Pennsylvania Castle and Bow and Arrow Castle. At a vestry held August 30th, 1753, trustees were appointed on behalf of the inhabitants to examine estimates plans, and designs of Mr Thomas architect of Portland either for repairing the old parish church or building a new one. On November 2nd 1753, the trustees decided that, St. Andrew's roof and walls were all in so ruinous a condition that it would be advisable to build a new and larger church in a more convenient locality. Accordingly the trustees approved and signed Mr Gilbert's plan of "an extensive and well defined church," to seat at least 600 and to be erected at Reforne. Pending the erection of the building they arranged for a "commodious tabernacle in or near the dwelling of the late Mr Cooper at Wakem [Wakeham]. "The trustees stipulated with Mr Gilbert that the new church and fitting up the "Tabernacle" with the exception of "ceiling the roof and carriage of material" should cost 2,100, allowing the architect liberty to take down at his own charge and to employ parts of the old church, except the seats. The trustees were Edward Pearce, Copas Attwool, Thos. Gilbert (architect), John Tucker, Richard Tucker, and John Cooth (rector.) On November 8th, 1753, the inhabitants in vestry approved of the grant scheme and the first was 250 out of the parish stock of tonnage. A petition was also prepared "humbly beseeching, his Majesty King George for his bounty towards finishing this work". (George II., contributed 500.) In 1756, 29 George II, an Act of Parliament was obtained for completing the new church and laying out and enclosing a burial ground. On June 26th, 1758 a majority of the vestry appointed four assessors and collectors of the "rates for building of the new church this year ensuing." Services were transferred from the old St. Andrew's Church to the "tabernacle" in 1756 and continued there for 10 years. Curious enough the communion table was not kept at the "Tabernacle," but carted from and to the church as required. The last record, of burials in St. Andrew's Church are:

1732      the mother of Edward Pearce     
1747 Katrine Pearce
1752 Shadrach Stone

St. George's Church was finished in 1764 and consecrated on July 29th, 1766.

In 1772 the vestry was called to consider the state of the churchyard - "Unwholesome and wet, the graves . . . at several times have been one half full, and at other times almost full of water, not only that but very annoyance and smells from the same to the inhabitants and other offences therefrom. The vestry agreed "to dig or cause to be digged or made a ditch round the churchyard of sufficient width and depth in order to take off or convey such waters from the said churchyard." Every inhabitant and boy able to labour was required to "work and perform this work" or in the alternative to hire another man to do his day's labour and pay 2s 6d per day for his not coming to work.

Mr Thomas Gilbert the architect and builder of St. George's died in 1776. Mr Robert Pearce in his interesting book of local history says that "large sums of money were spent upon the church after its consecration and in the year 1798 the roof was taken down." As security for the large expenditure on the roof of the church, the tonnage money due from the Stewards on stone taken by them from the common lands, was allowed to remain unpaid from 1792 to 1798. A sum of 464 the accumulated tonnage money was accounted for to the churchwardens. Mr Gabriel Tucker Steward, the governor of the Island and a trustee of the grant money also obtained a further donation of 200 from King George III towards the church expenses. The Act 29, George II (1756) stated that 36 trustees were chosen to pull down the old church and make use of or sell the materials to build a new one. The cemetery was to be on a waste ground called Wide Street and at the west end of Reforne, near the centre of the Island, to contain from east to west not more than 152 feet and from North to South not more than 300 feet. The Act also assigned the duties of tonnage on stone and rubble for a term not exceeding 31 years from June 24th 1736; and the money arising from the sale of seats to secure the repayment of moneys not exceeding 2,000 and interest not exceeding 4 per cent. Not more than 4,000 was to be raised by this Act. In 1759 a collection was made in the county for carrying on and completing the work but it produced little result.

St George's is in the form of a cross with a tower at the west end. There are galleries across the transepts and west end of the nave.

There are mural tablets in the church to the memory of Baron Nolcken, who died at Ivy Cottage in the grounds of Pennsylvania Castle, June 12th, 1831 ; to the Rev. J. Manning (rector), 1836 ; the wife of the Rev. David Hogarth (rector), 1841 ; John Penn, grandson of the founder of Pennsylvania and Governor of the Island, 1834; Thomas Gilbert, architect and master builder of the church, 1776; and the Rev. David Addison (rector), 1811.

Rectors of [St Andrew's and] St G George's:-

1302 John Golde de Warham
1324 William le Blound
1324 Nicholas de Keirwent
1336 William de Hermyton
1339 John Petit
  Peter de Inkpenne
1346 Philip Weston
1346 Edward Chamberlyn
1365 John Fodringhey
1392 John Stynkele
1396 John Bernard
1400 Walter Lambard
  John Roland
1423 Thomas Morton
  William Whithing or Whitlyng
1441 Thomas Salthowe
1473 Robert Alston
  William Osgodby
  Richard Jeffray
  Owen Watson
1533 John Newman
1533 John Newman
1550 Thomas Gowlde
1570 Evan Green
1598 Thomas Stoodleigh
1641 Humphrey Henchman D.D.
  Henry Way
1660 John Brader
1682 John Darbyshire
1712 George Farwel George Farwel
1717 John Haviland
  William Bragg
1725 John Williams
  David Price
1730 Daniel Harris
1746 John Cooth
1776 Samuel Payne
1802 Samuel Bryan
1809 Daniel Addison
1811 Charles Edward North
1833 John Harrington
1838 David Hogarth
1872 J. A. Beazor
Services: Sunday 10.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. (Avalanche Church 2.45 p.m.) Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Rector: Rev. Canon J. A. Beazor (instituted 1872), The Rectory, Portland
Curate: Rev. F. D. Bulloch (1902), Perryfield House, Portland
Churchwardens: Messrs J. Lano and H. Sansom
Sidesmen: Messrs R. Attwooll J. Stone, W. Stone; W. Attwooll. and H. Attwooll
Parish clerk and sexton: Mr Ed. Attwooll

St. John's Church, Fortune's Well

1839. St. John the Baptist church was erected this Year. It is a Gothic structure of Portland stone, with chancel, nave, and Square tower containing three bells. Consecrated 6 Oct 1840, built as a daughter church to St George's Church, Tophill.

In 1865 the Underhill district became a parish in its own right. The Dorset County Records Office hold PRs as follows: Baptisms: 1840-1953; Marriages: 1841-1973; Burials: 1841-1929; Banns: 1845-1951

During 1901 the new Parish room was built and opened at the north end of Ventnor Road, and is proving great boon to the work of the church.

Sunday services, 10.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. ; also Wednesday evening Holy Communion: 1st Sunday in month after morning service; 2nd Sunday, 8 a.m. 3rd Sunday, after evening service
Vicar, Rev T. A .Ottley D. D. (instituted 1874)
Churchwardens: Messrs A. Score and Roberts
Sidesmen: Messrs H. Gill and W. Comben
Organist: Mr T. Davis
Verger: Mr S. Smith
Girls, superintendent Mrs Ottley
Boys superintendent Mr A. Young
Missionary Society: local secretary: Mrs Ottley

St Peter's Church, The Grove

1872, August 27, St. Peter's Church, the Grove, was opened. It was built of Portland stone by convict labour [and maybe as a consequence sometimes known as the Convict Church.]

St. Peter's Church is a modern stone building, principally for prison officials. I was built by convict labour, and cost 2,400. It is in the Byzantine style of the twelfth century and was designed by Sir Edmund Duncan.*

Designed by Captain (later Major General) Edmund du Cane, RE, this church was built by the convicts in 1872, with much of the furniture also being made by these same people, including the pulpit and lectern. There are also some mosaics, which are also worthy of mention, laid under the supervision of Constance Kent, a resident of Parkhurst, who was convicted for murdering her brother (details of this case can be found on a number of web sites). [I understand that the church is now closed and it needs a special licence to be issued for marriages etc.]

Services:- Sunday 11 a.m., 6.:10 p.m. Wednesdays (during the summer months) 7.15 p.m. Vicar: Rev. L. Mason (instituted 1905) Church wardens: Messrs. Mayes and Binning. Organist: Miss Bentley. Clerk: Mr. J. Pound, 40, Easton

The "Avalanche " Memorial Church.

This is a peculiarly interesting church. It is dedicated to St. Andrew and is of the early English Style. It was erected by Public subscription as a memorial of the captain, passengers and crew of the "Avalanche" which was wrecked and sunk on the west side of the Island, nearly opposite the site of the church, in a collision with the "Forest" on the 11th September, 1877. More than 100 lives were lost, only three persons escaping by getting on board the "Forest" and being afterwards rescued by Portland beachmen.

The length of the building inside the walls is 71 ft 6 in and the extreme breadth 24 ft The nave is 47 ft 6 in long and 24 ft wide and the chancel 21 ft 6 in by 16 ft 6 in. There is a bapistry at the South-west corner 10 ft. by 11 ft. and an entrance porch 10 ft by 9 ft on the north side at the west end. The church is built entirely of Portland stone, and is a fine specimen of workmanship.

There is a bell turret at the west end, containing two bells. Underneath the west window which is of stained glass, a brass tablet is fixed, bearing the names of those drowned in the collision. The east window is of stained glass, the three lights representing the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. This window was the gift of Miss Frances Jane Scriven of Reforne, in memory of her three brothers, John Thurman Benfield, Benjamin and Henry Thurman Scriven. On the north side of the chancel is a handsome three-light Gothic window of stained glass, with marble columns erected by her brothers and sisters in memory of Miss Watt, who went down in the Avalanche. The stained glass window in the bapistry is in memory Robert Tanner MD of Ledbury, and his son, who were lost in the ship. The lectern was given by Mr and Mrs Downing, in memory of her brother; and the handsome stone pulpit was the gift of friends in memory of Lionel A. Alexander, another victim of the disaster. Nearly all the fittings of the church are offerings, and all the nave windows except one are of stained glass and are memorial. The six small chancel windows are all offerings, as is also the organ, which is a two manual one by Allen, of Bristol, and cost about, 80. The pulpit is supported by six Devonshire marble columns, with richly ..........

[it would appear that a page or two is missing or was never published as the section on the Court Leet now appears for 2 pages and the section on churches and chapels recommences as follows:]

Roman Catholic Church (our Lady And St. Andrew) - The Grove Portland

..........political prisoners (Fenians) agreed to appoint a paid Catholic Chaplain. Accordingly the Rev. Gco. Poole tools up his residence at Portland in a cottage near the Catholic Temporary Chapel, ministering to the prisoners inside the convict establishment, and to the Catholic warders, soldiers and coastguard in the detached Chapel. In 1870 the Rev. Geo. Poole was appointed by the Government Prison Chaplain for the Catholic prisoners exclusively being provided with a Government dwelling. It may interest Catholic readers to know that although there is no Catholic School at Portland the juvenile members of the congregation receive religious instruction from the Priest who catechises the warders' children and others on Sundays in the Church, the soldiers' children and drummer boys on Fridays at the Verne and the sailor lads on Saturdays on board H. M. S. Boscawen. The Catholic Church of our Lady and S. Andrew, in the Grove, was built in 1868 and presides accommodation for a congregation of about 250 or 300 sailors exclusively. There are two services on Sunday mornings, the first at 9 a.m. for the sailors and the other at 10.30 a.m. fur the military and Civilians.

1868-1870 Geo. Poole
1868-1870 William Hennesy (as curate)  
1870-1873 Joseph Tookey
1873-1874 Wm. Walsh
1874 - 1875     Garrett Hookey
1875-1877 James Gerard Williams
1877-1881 John Rufus Wincott
1881 The Rev. Walter Kieley

Priest: Rev Walter Kelly.

Services: Sunday: 9 a.m. for the sailors: 10.30 a.m. for the military and civilians: The juvenile members of the congregation receive religious instruction front the priest, who catechises the warders' children, etc., on Sunday in the church, the soldiers' children and drummer boys on Fridays at the Verne, and the sailor boy's on Saturdays on H.M.S. Boscawen.

The Wesleyan Methodist Church

Portland is fortunate in possessing such an able local historian as Mr Robert Pearce, of Easton. The Wesleyan Methodist Church, in particular, owes him a debt of gratitude for his admirable book "Methodism in Portland and a page of Church history"

It is a remarkably interesting work, admirably written by one who has a profound knowledge of his subject and who is pre-eminently the first authority on all that pertains to the rich and abundant records of Portland's past.

The first written record of Portland's connection with Methodism Mr Pearce has traced to Smith's "History of Methodism". In 1746 Portland formed port of the Bristol circuit.

On June 5th. 1746 the Rev. Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, visited the Island and stayed at the house of Wm. Nelson who is supposed to have first introduced Methodism into Portland. Nelson a stone mason, or quarryman, is believed to have come to Portland in 1743. He died March 10th 1770, and was buried in St George's churchyard. Charles Wesley records in his journal that on June 6th he "preached to a house full of loving, staring people" June 8th (Sunday), " after evening service we had all the Islanders that were able to come." June 9th " at Southwell, the furthest village, I expounded the Song of Simeon. Some very old men attended. I distributed a few books among them, rode round the Island, and returned by noon to preach on the hill, and by night at my lodgings. Now the power and blessing came. My mouth and their hearts were opened. The rocks were broken in pieces and melted into tears on every side. I continued exhorting them from seven to ten to save themselves from this untoward generation. We could hardly part. I left the little Society of 20 members confirmed and comforted." Among Charles Wesley's hymns is one inscribed "Written before preaching at Portland" and beginning:

" Come O thou all victorious Lord,
Thy power to us make known;
Strike with the hammer of Thy word
And break those hearts of stone.

Wm. Nelson like so many early Methodists, maintained his connection with the Anglican Church and his name figures prominently in the movement for the erection of the new Parish Church of St George's. The "society" probably became extinct after his death. The next great and distinguished name in the history of Portland Methodism is that of Robert Carr Brackenbury, of Raithby hall, Lincolnshire, who was closely associated with John Wesley and witnessed his death in 1791. Owing to ill-health, Mr Brackenbury came to the South of England. With Mr Geo Smith, Mr Brackenbury began his work at Portland on October 30th 1791. At first they preached in Mr Brackenbury's own house. They had to endure "grievous and long continued persecution" and ultimately had to seek protection from the law, two of the ringleaders of the mob being convicted at Sherborne Quarter Sessions. A chapel was built and the missionaries" went forward with increasing success. "The children were "first instructed on Saturday afternoons." A Methodist "Society" was formed, and in time. (1794) numbered 120 members. The original chapel in Fortune's Well (afterwards enlarged) was built Mr Brackenbury's sole expense. In 1903 the chapel was demolished, the site being now occupied by the minister's manse. In 1792 the house of Mary Mitchell widow, in Wakeham, was licensed for public worship by "a congregation of Dissenting Protestants called Methodists." Mr Brackenbury's house (or chapel) in Fortune's Well was licensed in 1793. In 1794 Mr Brackenbury purchased a dwelling house at Wakeham for a chapel. The same year he left Portland and returned to Lincolnshire. The first regular ministers at Portland were the Revs. John Easton and William Holmes (1794). One of the first and most notable converts of Mr Brackenbury was Sarah Wiggatt (Gibbs) who died in 1861 at the age of 85. She joined the church in 1793 and in 1810 became the leader of a class. Other memorable names in the first list of church members are Agnes Attwooll, Mary Angel, Jenny Vine, Marwood, Russell, Read, and Whittle. It was the refusal of the Rev John Manning to preach a funeral sermon for William Gibbs which principally led to the laying out of the land adjoining the Fortune's Well Chapel as a graveyard.

From 1805 to 1857 Portland formed part of the Weymouth circuit. During this time one minister always resided at Portland. In 1816, during the ministry of the Rev F. Derry, about 50 members, including Charles Whittle and Robert Hinde, leaders and local preachers were struck off the "class register" because of their belief in witchcraft. They founded a new Church in Chesil: but 10 years later (1826), in the ministry of Mr J. Dunbar, and through the good offices of Mrs Brackenbury and Squire Roberts, there was a reconciliation and "sincere though mistaken" members were readmitted "into society" Services had been held at Southwell in Chas. Whittle's house. In 1818 William Pearce's house was registered for public worship. There were 156 Sunday School children at Fortune's Well and 50 at Southwell in 1819. The Methodist Sunday schools were the first in the Island and celebrated their centenary in 1903.

In 1819 the Wakeham School was held in old Jan Thorner's cottage - girls upstairs, boys on the ground floor. It was the home of the first Sunday-school on the hill. Mr Brackenbury died August 11, 1818, aged 66 years. He left his pocket Bible to Wm. Gibbs at Portland. Mrs Brackenbury then transferred (1819) the chapel and dwelling house at Fortune's Well and the School House at Wakeham to the Society. She survived her husband 29 years and to the last "continued the friend and benefactress .. of the Portland Church." The first "remembered Sunday School treat" took place in 1823. Beef and plum-pudding, were the fare, and it was held at the Crown Hotel, Chesil. In 1825, at Mrs Brackenbury's expense, a chapel, the first on the hill, was built at Wakeham and opened on Aug, 7th by the Rev. Geo. Smith, the first companion of Mr Brackenbury, when he first visited the Island in 1791, and who died in [1832].

1832. Wakeham Chapel was 24 by 36 feet and cost about 190. 1827 saw the foundation of the "British Day School" Day School and the first organised choir at Fortune's Well Church. John Marwood, a class leader in 1797 died in 1831. The Sunday school's jubilee was celebrated in 1832. In 1836 a chapel was provided at Southwell. The centenary of John Wesley's establishment of Methodism was suitably observed at Portland in 1839 (October 25). In 1841 they celebrated the jubilee of Methodism in Portland. Mrs Brackenbury gave a Bible to every Sunday-school scholar. There were then 69 teachers and 328 scholars. John Marwood was school superintendent at Fortune's Well and John Lowman superintendent at Wakeham.

The Wesleyan Day School, Fortune's Well, begun in 1844 was opened May 15th 1845. Mrs Brackenbury died June 12th, 1847. She left valuable legacies to the Wesleyan Church and Schools and the poor of the Island.

Easton Wesleyan Church (Easton Square) dates from 1854. The foundation stones were laid on August 22nd, 1854. A new church scheme which was inaugurated in April 1902 contemplates the erection of a handsome church at the Reforne corner of Easton Square, Easton. Wesleyan Schools were opened in 1878. Weston Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1858.

On Whit Monday, May 30, 1898, the foundation stones of the handsome new Brackenbury Memorial Wesleyan Church were laid in Fortune's Well. The edifice occupies a site on the rising ground overlooking the old graveyard. In style the church is a free treatment of the Perpendicular Gothic. The façade to Fortune's Well is very striking and imposing. There is a centre gable (with five light tracery windows handsomely designed) flanked by two ornamental pinnacles, and two smaller ones at the angles of the building. The main body of the church is 43 feet wide and 60 feet long. There is accommodation for over 700, including the galleries and the choir seats in the recess The edifice is built or Portland stone. Mr J. J. Patten of Portland, was the contractor, Mr R. Curwen, of London, being the architect.

Foundation stones (26) were laid by:
Lieut. Molyneux of H.M.S. Boscawen, on behalf of the Royal Navy,
Captain Sant on behalf of the British Army,
Mr and Mrs Mills, Mr Curwen (architect), Mr J. J. Patten (builder), Mr Siggs, Mrs Siggs, Mrs J. Gibbs, Mr & Mrs Marshall, Mrs A. Scriven, Mr T. Flew, Mr F. J. Barnes, Mrs J. Reid, Mr T. E. Angel, Captain J. T. Reid, Rev. S. Atkinson, MA, Rev. G. Reid, Mr C. Gibbs, Mr R. W. White, Mr E. Comben, Mr J. White, Mr. Robert Flew, Mr J. Stone, Mrs T. Elliott.
Juvenile members of the church also laid a number of bricks.

The cost of the structure was over 3,200. The church was opened for Divine Service On Whit Monday 1899. A fine new organ was added to the church in November 1902 at a cost of 450.

In 1891 special services and meetings celebrated the centenary of the establishment of Methodism in Portland. Teachers and scholars were presented with Bibles. Memorial hymn books were distributed on the occasion of the Portland Sunday School centenary in 1903.

Wesleyan Ministers

Weymouth, Dorchester and Portland were part of Poole Circuit [but see below]:


William Henshaw, Richard Wintle, William Martin


Samuel Woolmer, Daniel Campbell, Thomas Ashton


John Townsend, Thomas Tattershall, Joseph Marsh, Thomas Newton, jun,


John Townsend, Alexander Weir


Mark Daniel, Alexander Weir


Mark Daniel, John Chettle


George Dermott, John Chettle


George Dermott, Thomas Rogers


Thomas Rogers, Joshua Fielden


George Button, Joshua Fielden


George Button, Francis Derry


William Worth, Samuel Kittle


William Worth, Thomas Eastwood


Theophilus Lessey, Jun. (President of Conference in 1839), Thomas Eastwood,


Theophilus Lessey, jun, Henry Powis


William Beale, Henry Powis


William Beale, John Appleyard


John Russell John Appleyard, Richard Boot


John Russell, James Dunbar, Joseph Crump


John Russell, James Dunbar, Samuel Palmer


John Newton, John Baker, William W. Rouch


John Newton, John Baker Thomas Jewell


Jacob Stanley, sen, W. B. Stevenson, Jacob Stanley jun


Dorchester Circuit formed.


William Beale, James Jones sen.


William Beale, Francis Collier


John Burdsall. Francis Collier


John Burdsall, Thomas Ashton


Simeon Noall. Thomas Ashton


Simeon Noall, John Robinson


Robert Sherwell, John Robinson


Robert Sherwell, John W. Thomas


John W. Button, Henry V. Oliver


Jacob Stanley. jun, Thomas Bersey


Jacob Stanley, William Davies, A


William Davies, A, William Davies, B


Thomas Robinson, William Davies B.


Thomas Robinson, John Radford


Edward Jennings, Joseph Watson


Robt. Dugdale, Josiah Goodwin


James Taylor, William Wedlock


George Jackson, William Henley


Portland Circuit formed


Thos. P. Jones


Samuel Beard


Samuel Beard, Robert N Barrett


Samuel Beard, Humphrey Jutsum


George Hobill, Humphrey Jutsom


George Hobill, Nicholas Welynach (Sp)


Jabez Rouglet, Nicholas Kelynach (Sp)


Jabez Rouglet, John S. Ladd


Jabez Rouglet, James Hinde


Joseph Watson, William Nicholson


Samuel Hooley, William Talbot


Samuel Hooley, William J. Cooke


George Kevern, William J. Cooke


George Kevern, William J. Dawson


George Kevern, Samuel W. Beard


Edmund Maden, S. W. Beard


Edmund Maden, S. W. Beard


Edmund Maden, Joseph S. Silcox


Almond T. Hocking, John S. Robinson


Almond T. Hocking, John S. Robinson


Henry Padgham, James J. Laurence


Henry Padgham, James J. Laurence


John Lewis B, John W. Woodliffe


John Lewis, Robert Lickes


W. Fisher Clark, T. Clarke Edwards


Geo. Reid, J. T. Bennett


E. D. Webb, Wm. Denney


Samuel Atkinson, T. D. Hicks


F. Barker, T. D. Hicks


F. Barker, Hy Thompson


Geo. Reid, Henry Thompson


G. Reid, Fear


Edward Sellers, A. C. Lywood


Chas. Winters, A. C. Lywood


Chas. Winters, W. T. Davis


Chas. Winters, E. Bolton


E. Cole, J. Reeves


E. Cole, J. G. Gill


E. Cole, E. T. Selby


E. Cole, G. H. Marshall

Wesleyan Methodist Church, Portland Circuit.

Brackenbury Memorial Church, Fortunes Well,
Services: Sunday. 10.15 am and 6 p.m. Monday, prayer meeting 7.15 pm Thursday service 7.15 pm
Circuit ministers: Rev. Ebenezer Cole (superintendent); Rev. G. H. Marshall
Circuit Officers - Stewards: Messrs R Elliott and J. Beer
Treasurer Foreign Missions: Mr. R. Elliott
Secretaries Foreign Missions: Rev. G. H Marshall; Mr Epsley
Education and Temperance Secretary: Rev. G. H Marshall
Treasurer Aged Ministers' fund: Messrs. E. Comben and C. Flann
Chapel Secretary: Mr. H Epsley
Secretary Quarterly Meeting: Mr. T. Flew
Secretary Local Preachers' Meeting: Rev. G.. H. Marshall
There are also Society Stewards, Pew Stewards, and Chapel Stewards for each chapel.
Missionary Committee: Rev. E. Cole, Messrs. R. Allen, E. Comben sen., E. Comben, jun., T. Flew, J. Flew, W. T. Flew, J. Fisher, E. Hunt., W Morris, jun., F. L. Simmonds
Sunday School: Superintendent: Mr R. Elliott
Sunday School: Morning Superintendent: Mr C. Burdon
Sunday School: General Secretary: Mr T Elliott
Sunday School: Treasurer: Mr H. Elliott
Band of Hope:
Conductor: R. Allen
Secretary: Mr A. Flew
Treasurer: Mr H. Lillywhite
Easton Church
Services: Sunday 10.30 am and 6 pm Monday 7:15 p.m. Thursday 7.15 pm
Missionary Committee: Messrs. R. Fall, W. A. Attwooll, J. Beer, J. Flann, W. T. Flann, W. Edwards, R. Pearce, W. J. Pearce, C. Talbot, J. T. Scriven
Sunday School: Superintendents: (morning) Mr B. Stone; (afternoon) Mr Robt. Pearce
School Secretary: Mr John Flann, Jun.
Services: Sunday. 6 pm., Tuesday 7.30 p m, Sunday, 6.1.5 p.m., Tuesday (alternate), 7 p.m.
Services: Sunday-, 3.15 pm, Tuesday (alternate week), 7 pm
Missionary Committee: Mr R H. Comben.
Sunday School: Superintendents: (afternoon) Mr T. L. Attwooll
General Secretary: Mr Corbet Stone, Wakeham
General Treasurer: Mr C. Talbot
Secretary: Mr W. Hopper
Training Ships:
Services: Monday 1 p.m. (bi-weekly)
Hospitals (Naval and Military)
Services: Weekly
HM Convict Prison:
Services: Thursday, 3 p. m. (alternate weeks)
Sailors Soldiers Institute,
Services: Sundays 8 p.m.
Missionary Committee: Mr J Pearce
Secretaries: Rev G. H. Marshall, Mr H J. Epsley
Treasurer: Mr R. Elliott
Sunday School: Superintendents: (morning) Mr B Hinde
Secretary: Mr N. Carter
Chesil School
Superintendent: Mr W. Comben
Secretary: Mr Benmets
Treasurer: Mr H. Elliott

The Primitive Methodist Church (portland Circuit)

The Primitive Methodists came to Portland about the year 1840. Open air services were at first, and then meetings were conducted in various rooms. The Church was established in 1850, and the Sabbath School commenced in 1851. The small chapel at Chesil was built in 1858, in which the Society greatly prospered and much good was done.

The present large and beautiful chapel was erected in 1869, during the ministry of the Rev. Samuel J. Wallis. Services were commenced at Weston in 1850, and the chapel was built in 1860. Portland was made a circuit in 1887, and to it the following, ministers have been appointed :-


William L. Harris


Arthur Warcup          


Edwin Clarke


Thomas Collins


J Phillips Read


John Buck

Fortune's Well Church
Services: Sunday, 10.30 am and 6 pm ; school address 2.30 p.m. ; open-air service, 5.15 p.m. ; Tuesday, service 7.30 p.m.
Minister, Rev J Buck, Marine Villas, High Street
Circuit steward, Mr John Worden
Society stewards: Messrs. F. Brown and A. Bowers
Organist: Miss Mitchell
Chapel keeper: Mr Stone, 6 Albert Terrace
School Committee: Messrs J. Buck, G. King, T. W. Peters, R. Mitchell, R. J. Stone, and C. Gardner (secretary)
Weston Church:
Sunday 2.30 p.m. and 6 p.m. ; School address 11.15 a.m. ; Thursday service, 7.30 pm
Society stewards: Mr E. Pearce
Organist: Miss Pearce
Chapel keeper: Mrs Cart

Congregational Church

Although there is some evidence of the existence of Non-conformists at Portland as early as the middle of the 18th century, it was not until 1825 that the present Congregational Church originated. About that time a few persons combined and converted a barn and stable then standing on the site of the present chapel, into a place of worship, Mr William Russell giving them then the lease free. Two years later, in 1827, the first chapel was erected, the congregation contributing 80 besides certain labour and materials. The local trustees were Henry Jones, John Way, and William Flew. The first pastor was Frederick William Meadows, who was appointed in 1827, and at the same time took charge of the work at Upwey. He was ordained November 5, 1828. In the meantime the congregation had increased and the building had been enlarged, and was re-opened in September, 1828. In October of the same year a church was constituted under the guidance of the Rev. J. H. Crump and consisted of Will. Pearce, John Way, and Rebecca Stone. The Pastor went to London to raise funds to clear off the debt, and whilst there was invited to take the pastorship of Shepherds Market Chapel, Mayfair, which he accepted. He, afterwards removed to South Molton Glastonbury, and Gosport, where he died in 1862. In October, 1831, Charles Cannon became pastor, and remained in that office until his death in 1854 James Cheney succeeded in 1855, and the church continued to increase, and became overcrowded to such an extent that a new chapel was necessary. Mr Cheney threw himself heartily into the work and succeeded in securing the erection of a fine commodious chapel at a cost of about 1400. The new church was opened October 21st, 1858. Mr Chenev died in 1863, and his funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. W. Lewis, of Hope Congregational Church, Weymouth. The succeeding minister was Mr T. G. Beveridge, from Hackeny College, who remained from 1864 to 1867.

Next came Mr William White Sherren, from Lytchett Minster. He got the debt on the chapel cleared off, and a manse and schoolrooms erected. The total cost was about 1,600. In August, 1876, Mr Sherren resigned. The deacons at that time were Charles Way, E. Allen, R. J. Andrews and John Roper.

Mr Nicholas Way contributed 180 towards the erection of the manse. From 1877 to 1879 Mr W. M. Fell was the pastor, and in the latter year he was succeeded by Mr William Robert Maurice Waugh, F.R.A.S., who came to Portland from Lyme Regis. During his pastorate in 1883, the church was renovated at a cost of about 200. The Gothic screen at the back of the pulpit and the ornamental glass in the vestry were the work and gift of the Pastor. The stone communion table was given by Messrs G. Mitchell and Son, and the new window blinds by Mr Richard Cox. Mr Waugh resigned in 1893 in consequence of advancing age. His successor was Mr Thomas Williams who was educated at the Nottingham Institute. He retired in 189E and was succeeded by Mr Ottwell Binns. The present pastor is the Rev J. T. Davies. The following is a list of the pastors of the church :

1827 Frederick Wm. Meadows
1831 Charles Cannon
1855 James Cheney
1864 T. G. Beveridge
1867 Wm. White Sherren
1877 W. M. Fell
1879 W. R M. Waugh, F.R.A.S.
1892 Thomas Williams
1896 Ottwell Binns
1901 J. T. Davies
Services: Sunday 10.1.5 am 6 p.m.: Wednesday, 7 pm Sunday-school, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Minister: Rev. J. T. Davis, The Manse, Fortune's Well.
Deacons: Messrs. J. S. Norman, W. Attwooll, H. Hibbs, W. Wakeham and F. Gamblen
Organist: Mrs Doust
Sunday-school: Superintendents: Messrs. Norman and W. Attwooll
Secretary: Miss Atkins
Band of Hope: Conductor: Mr Gamblen
Secretary: Mr W. Attwooll
Treasurer: Mr J. Flann

Bible Christian Connexion

The Bible Christian Methodists are represented nowhere in Dorset except, at Portland. The society commenced it operations on the island in 18.17. Lion Chapel, Wakeham, was erected soon afterwards, and Maidenwell (High Street) a little later.

It is often remarked at the anniversary gatherings of these churches, that " Three Williams " (Wm. Mason, Wm. Coombe and Wm. Burden) " Writ large " their names on the early history of the circuit. The Rev. Wm. Mason venerable pioneer of the denomination, was the first agent sent by the Conference to the island. Under his deeply spiritual ministry a great religious awakening was experienced and many were added to the church. He was followed by a succession of godly and more or less successful ministers of the gospel. Many in the following list are household names among Portlanders [read from left to right]:

Charles Denning      

Charles Bridgman   

T. J. Pattenden

William Beer

William Hooper

Matthew Robins

James Perkins      

James Bartlett

Samuel Shortridge

John Maynard

John Hicks

Richard Hawkey

T. W. Garland

John Brown

Thomas Andrews

T. W. Lillington

Richard Orchard

J. G. Nancekivell

Edmund Turner

E. C. Bartlett, (son of James Bartlett, mentioned above)

John Page

George Hicks

Fred J. Parry

John Ash

The circuit readied its highest numerical strength during the pastorate of the Rev John Maynard, and perhaps Mr Maynard is the most popular of all the ministers who have travelled here.

The Rev. F. C. Bartlett's full term of four years is noted for the entire extinction of chapel debts at both Wakeham and Maidenwell. In December, 1901, a new Mission Hall was opened in Grove Road. The hall, which is an iron building, costing a little over 300, has nearly 200 sitting. It meets a long felt need in the neighbourhood. Already a good congregation has been gathered together and the nucleus of a working society. A Sunday school opened on January 1, 1905 gives promise of success. The temperance work has been placed in competent hands, and a Band of Hope opened under encouraging circumstances. Altogether Grove Road is likely to become a valuable addition to the circuit, and reflects credit on its promoters and supporters.

The Rev. John Page, who leaves the circuit in August (1905), after a record and fruitful pastorate of five years, has witnessed a gratifying growth and increase in the importance of the church's work. During that period the membership has nearly doubled, and the ordinary income more than trebled itself. A second resident minister has been secured and provided for. All the connexional property including chapels, schools and manse, has been put in a condition of repair, at a very considerable cost. Largely through Mr Page's influence Grove Road Mission has been opened in the face of much difficulty. For the last two years the Rev John Ash has ably supported his Superintendent, greatly to the advantage of the whole circuit.

Services: Sunday, 10:30 a.m., 6 p.m., School, 2 p.m., Monday 7.30 pm, Tuesday (Band of Hope), 7.15, Wednesday (service), 7.30 p.m.
Superintendent minister: Rev. T. Page, Sea View
Superintendent: Mr J. R. Otter
Assistant: Mr J R Attwooll
Secretary: Mr H White
Treasurer: Mr J. Pearce
Band of Hope
Superintendent: Mr C. J. Peaple
Secretary: Miss Talbot
Treasurer: Mrs Parsons
Services: Sunday 10.30 a.m., 6 p.m. School, 2 pm Monday (prayer) 7.30 Tuesday (service), 7.15 p.m. Wednesday (Band of Hope) 7.15 p.m. Thursday (Bible Class) 7.30 p.m.
Superintendent minister: Rev J Ash
Superintendent: Mr E. H Burden
Secretary: Miss C. Burden
Treasurer: Miss M. Pavey
Organist: Mrs Burden
Morning superintendent: Mr J. J. Saunders
Band of Hope
Superintendent: Mr Wm. Marshall
Secretary: Miss Burden
Treasurer: Mr Love
Circuit stewards: Messrs J. R. Otter and E. H. Burden
Society stewards: Messrs J. R. Attwooll and R. F. Stone, Wm. Marshall, and E. Otter.
New Century Fund Treasurer: Rev. J. Page.
Grove Road Mission Chapel
Services: 10.30 am 6.30 pm ; School 2.30 ; Monday 7.30 prayer meeting ; Tuesday 7.15,
Band of Hope: Thursday 7.30. P.S. Society
Stewards: D. J. Clayton and Geo. Page
Sunday School Officers: Wm. Jones
Superintendent: Mr Layley
Secretary: G Page
Treasurer: Band of Hope D. J. Clayton
Secretary: E. Wilson
Treasurer: D. J. Clayton

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Citadel is in Park Road, Easton. The Army commenced operations in Portland on March 29, 1885. Its first local officers were Captain Crammond and Lieut. Pacey. The Corps has a membership of 160 adults : and the Sunday School has 155 scholars. There is also a splendid brass band numbering 24 players.

Officers in charge: Ensign and Mrs Stannard
On Sunday afternoons and evenings, meetings are held in the Jubilee Hall
Services: Sunday 7 a.m., 11 am, 3 pm and 6.30 pm ; Sunday afternoon and evening meetings are held in the Jubilee Hall. Services are also held every week night
Sunday School 10 am and 2 pm

Sailors & Soldiers' Home

This admirable institution in the Queen's Road, Underhill, was opened about 20 years ago by a representative local Committee of ladies and gentlemen, and has rendered excellent service. In 1903 the Home was acquired by the Wesleyan Methodist Connexional Army and Navy Committee. The building was closed for some months and underwent extensive alterations and improvements and a thorough renovation. It was re-opened on December 1st, 1903, as the Wesleyan Sailors' and Soldiers' Home. There is sleeping accommodation for 30 men, a large dining room, temperance refreshment bar, reading room. a large recreation room, baths and every convenience. The Home is splendidly fitted up, and much used by the men of H.M. Fleet at Portland and the soldiers stationed at the Verne Citadel.

During 1901 over 4,000 beds and 1,160 hot baths were provided at the Institution. The Secretary is the Rev. John Fletcher Wesleyan Army Chaplain, Salisbury Plain. The Home is vested in Trustees, the local representatives being:

Rev. E. Cole

Messrs. T. Flew

R. Elliott

J. A. Newman

R. Pearce

W. J. Pearce

E. Comben (Portland)

T. Honebon (Weymouth)

J. B. Cole (Weymouth)

There are in addition six representatives of the Connexional Committee, including the Rev. Richard Allen, the Secretary of the Navy and Army Committee. Mr. John B. Cole (Weymouth) is the treasurer. Manager Mr. Burgess, late manager of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, Gibraltar.

The Brethren

Services held on Sundays at Osborne Hall at 6:30 pm

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