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Quick Links To Chapters
Introduction | Church Council Membership 1979-80 | The Methodists of Paythorne and Paythorne What's in a Name? | Travelling Preachers | John Wesley in Paythorne? and Legal Documents | The Skipton and Clitheroe Circuits and The New Chapel | Sunday School Reminiscences and Village Decline | Clitheroe Circuit and Rise and Fall | George Hargreaves and Success at Last | Misleading Statistics! and High Water and Centenary Celebrations | 50 More Years | And the Future... and References |
The first visit of John Wesley to the north of England was in 1742. Over the next three years Methodism slowly developed, particularly in the Leeds and Keighley areas, until in 1745 Rev. William Grimshaw, the Curate of Haworth, was led into a belief in justification by personal faith one of many beliefs that linked his views very closely to those of John Wesley.I
Grimshaw remained the Curate of Haworth, his church there becoming a great centre of preaching, but he also became the first superintendent of the Methodist Circuit which covered much of the northwest of England 'Grimshaw's Round'. He usually travelled on foot throughout his round and, despite opposition from some of his fellow clergymen, preached as and where he felt inclined, his view being that Methodism must be a revitalising element within the Church of England and must in no way be a separate church.
There are no complete records of William Grimshaw's journeys, his only known visit to the area of the present Clitheroe circuit '29 being in June 1756 when he preached in Rimington and Gisburn. In 1754 however, he wrote:
For some years past, the Lord, I trust, has been pleased to open the hearts of a great many people by the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Ingham .... Mr. Wm. Batty, and some others in Pendle Forest, Paythorn, Sladeburn .... There are, I believe, many lively members of the Lord Jesus in these places.
The "Rev. Mr. Ingham" (Benjamin Ingham) had been a Church of England minister, also a friend of John Wesley and had set up many societies in West Yorkshire at first all, in his view,' within the framework of the Church of England. These societies undoubtedly had a significant influence, but they were frequently short lived and, due to strong differences of opinion between Ingham and Wesley, were never joined to the Methodist conference.
The first of Ingham's meeting places in the Paythorne area was 'R Croysdale's house' at Newsholme, first used for preaching on 28th December, 1745. Subsequent meetings were held in 'John Hornby's house' in Newsholme, however in June 1747
there was a mob at Newsholm near Gisburn in Craven and 15 of our hearers were summoned afterwards to appear at Skipton sessions.
The next year, on July 3rd, Benjamin Ingham
lodged for the first time at Rob. Nightingales at Paythorn to whose house the preaching is to be removed from Newsholme.
Unfortunately we have no other record of these meetings nor their location could the name Chapel Head Barn (between Higher House and Carholme) be a clue?
There are also no records of how long meetings continued at Rob. Nightingales' nor whether this society ever became associated with John Wesley, however the history of Grimshaw's Round records that Methodism had been introduced into Paythorne by 1750 if this date is accurate, the first recorded Methodist meetings in the whole area of the present Clitheroe circuit were held in Paythorne!
In those early years there is no record of John Wesley visiting the Clitheroe area, although he had both difficulties and successes to the east of Pendle as had one of his assistants who in 1748 visited Colne and after being roughly handled by a crowd made the best use of his opportunities and began to preach whilst fastened in the stocks! Nearer to Paythorne, in Gisburn, a Methodist society was established a few years later and from is 1758 to 1763, along with societies at Twiston and Newhurst (near Bolton by Bowland), made regular contributions to the funds of the Haworth circuit.
About this time the Vicar of Gisburn reported that in his parish there were 370 families, none of whom were dissenters (?) but 5 families were Papists and 7 were Presbyterian. The Vicar gave 19 no details at all of the Methodists in his parish, either in Gisburn itself or in Paythorne, as "the Methodists do.not call themselves dissenters" a statement John Wesley would have approved of entirely, but of no help now in assessing numbers!