Bridgeyate Methodist Church, believed to be one of the oldest Methodist churches in the Bristol. The little grey stone building standing at the top of Bridgeyate Common behind an ancient chestnut tree often goes unnoticed by the speeding traveller these days but when the first foundation stones were laid the pace of life was very different.
In February 1960, the Chapel was packed to capacity for the four weekend celebration meetings which proved to be a great success. The final anniversary service was performed by the Reverend David Catterson who came to Bridgeyate in 1958. Long before the Chapel was built, religious meetings were held in private houses. Local folk-law has it that the Rev. John Wesley may have preached nearby, on the common.
The original conveyance of 1810 decrees that ‘The Chapel or Preaching House and Buildings… be peaceably used for the public worship of Almighty God, by the church and congregation that shall or may from time to time and at all times hereafter meet and assemble therein.
The original trustees of the Chapel, known as the Bridgeyate Ebenezer, were all local men, several gaining employment from the brassworks at Warmley Tower. Some of their names and the name of the original owner of the land are synonymous with Bridgeyate, thus Trubody, Peacock. Jarrett, Ashley, Wilmot, Parket and Johnson.
Bridgeyate Chapel celebrated its centenary this year. It is reputed that John Wesley and his fellow Methodists from Kingswood School would come out to Bridgeyate and preach on the Common. Local traditions have it that he tethered his horse to the old Chestnut tree. Prior to the building of the Chapel worship took place in nearby houses. John Trubody, a name much associated with Bridgeyate, announced on 10th February 1810 that he would let the congregation have a small plot of land above the Common to build their Chapel. So ‘The Chapel on the Common”, the oldest in the Kingswood circuit, was founded.