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The Methodist
Church

Orwell Methodist Church

1960

Independent Press and Chronicle 22nd July 1960

First Methodist Church


The cause of Methodism is strong in Orwell. It began with the preaching of the Rev. William Hicks in 1759, and the first chapel was built (for £150) in 1823. The foundation stone of this chapel was built into the porch of the present chapel, on the same site, in 1906. In the inter­val .funds for the re-building were assisted by the preaching of Gipsy Smith, who addressed large congre­gations in a barn at Manor Farm. The bi-centenary of Methodist preaching in the Cambridge area was celebrated on June llth last year by a great rally in Orwell—the even­ing meeting was held in Messrs. Arnolds' barn, one of the finest in the country and the largest building in the neighbourhood.
For this occasion, an informative handbook on the history of Method-­ism in Cambs. was prepared by Mr. Alan Miller, a well-known and knowledgeable Orwellian.
Orwell has two schools, a County Primary and a Church School. The latter is unusually old — how old is not really known, but fully 200 years ago two farms were giver, to provide a living for a master (£15 a year) and mistress (£10 a year) and the foundation has certainly con­tinued since then. But Church School building is soon to close. A new Junior Church School - a rare feature these days — is to be built in the village, the intention be­ing that it shal] serve certain neigh­bouring parishes as well. Whether or not the existing County Primary will also close seems to be a matter of some controversy Like others of its kind, the Village Hall dates from the nineteen thirties with "plumbing portion" additions recently   Next to it is the old lock-up. or Pound. One old inhabitant can remember this little building as a cobbler's shop, also that it was once a home for a family who could not find anywhere else to live!
In the nature of things, many local crafts have died out. The last saddler was Mr William Miller – he was also Clerk to the Parish Council- who passed on a decade he was over eighty. But Ellis Parcell continues the smithy in High Street that his father bad before him, and Dick Newell, who had a smithy at New Orwell, is — at eighty plus - living in retirement.

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