Winsham cartoon village map showing the church, primary school, jubilee hall and community shop with fields, cows and sheep. Created by Bethany Fowler as the header banner for the Winsham Web Museum.
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Gospel Hall

Orginally published Jul 2021
Last updated Aug 2021

The Gospel Hall was a small chapel run by the Plymouth Brethren, and a popular place for worship for about a hundred years, although the date of the opening of the Chapel is not known with any accuracy. It is known that it's last service was held in May ,1974.

Gospel Hall c. 1938 - from the Joyce Hayball Gallery

The information we  have is provided by Brenda Forsey, and J.H.Paull, in his book 'The Winsham I Remember'.

The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative ecumenical organisation that started in Dublin in about 1820. With no hierarchy of Ministers, it simply follows the Bible, and had a substantial following in Winsham and Thorncombe, from where people would walk every Sunday. This is a little difficult to understand as the Thorncombe chapel was built in1881. The solution may be that the Plymouth Brethren has two branches- the 'Exclusive Brethren' and the other a less rigorous group. It would seem likely that the Winsham chapel was of the less strict variety.

Some worshippers would bring sandwiches and stay the whole day. There were two services and a Sunday school, which was very popular. In his book, W.H. Paull expresses some interesting views on the popularity of Sunday school with the children. He paints a fascinating picture of the role of Winsham churches at the beginning of the last century.
Soon after the last service in1974,the chapel and its land was sold.  In 1984 the site was developed as residential accommodation by the local builders K.D.J.Slade & Sons.

Read W.H. Paull's 'The Winsham I Remember'

See the Joyce Hayball Photo Gallery