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| Rimington & Middop | Paythorne


Descendants of Robert Dodgson

The Methodists of Paythorne

The Intriguing History of Paythorne's Ribble Stepping Stones

Paythorne What's in a Name?


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 |


Clitheroe Circuit

The small society at Paythorne, with all its problems, and placed in a distant corner of the circuit was becoming a burden to those in Skipton, but the Clitheroe circuit had no desire to take on that burden. In April 1877 (probably) the Skipton circuit received:

a reply from the superintendent of the Clitheroe circuit declining respectfully to receive Paythorne.

However, in October the same year:

Letters were read from the Rev. John Hartley, Chairman of the District and the Rev. John Hornby respecting the transfer of Paythorne Chapel to the Clitheroe circuit, the Conference agreeing to the transfer.

The transfer probably occurred in 1878. Two years later the railway line from Chatburn to Hellifield was completed, and the station at Newsholme was opened. This, of course, would greatly facilitate links to Clitheroe.

After the transfer new trustees were appointed. John Bateson of Englands Head (who was also a local preacher and the Sunday School superintendent) was the only trustee from Paythorne, although most of the others were from societies nearby.

Ben Robinson from Gisburn was a frequent helper. The Trustees invited the people to a congregational tea but there were fewer than a score present .... Mr. Robert Duckworth of Stopper Lane in his prayer said: "We feel that we are not only trustees of this chapel, but that the souls of those who live around this place are a solemn sacred trust. Lord help us to be faithful trustees."

A homely talk was given by Mr. George Illingworth of Downham. "We've some fine ministers  they're good men, and some gradely good local preachers, and we want you to come to the Chapel. Na you'll come, won't you? We've a first class choir at Downham and, if you like, I'll ask some of 'em to come and sing at the sermons. We want to help you, but we can't do it unless you come to the Chapel".

Rise and Fall

Soon after Paythorne became part of the Clitheroe circuit:

Mr. George Haworth of Rochdale came to Tewitt Hall. Having had experience of school work he was appointed superintendent and in a short time the school was flourishing.... about this time there was a preponderance of boys .... in four families the Jacksons of Loftrans, the Mellins of Agden, the Heatons of Isles and the Sugdens of Pye Cross  there were no fewer than twenty sons. Other families to mention are the Lofthouses of Paa, the Kayleys of Adams, the Peels and Marsdens of Newsholme and the Pettys of Higher Thornber....

One of the best helpers in the School was William Knight, a farm servant .... he was the only person who read a religious weekly, the 'Christian Herald' ....About this time Mr. Duxbury came to Higher House from Earby and such an acceptable preacher he was that for the first few years he was away taking appointments almost every Sunday. When Mr. Haworth departed however .... he took charge of the school. He was there Sunday by Sunday, cheerful and bright encouraging those who were disposed to give up hope and apologising to the preacher because the congregation was so poor....

In 1888 Conference recommended that on the last Sunday of November each year 'reference be made in all Chapels and Sunday School on the appalling extent and dire results of Intemperance'.

Mrs. Thompson .... was an enthusiastic Blue Ribboner. She organised a meeting which was largely attended .... and those who were willing to take the pledge had a piece of blue ribbon attached to coat or dress .... the caretaker at the time was Mrs. Hargreaves of the Buck Inn, and .... she was at no pains to conceal her displeasure "I don't know what the Methodists are coming to with their new ideas about being teetotal" she declared "Why, one of the first trustees was a Skipton spirit merchant and one of the best local preachers that came from Skipton to hold a week's mission here, every night before he went to the chapel had a pint of the best, and he alus said as he supped it, that it made him preach better!"

Despite all the enthusiasm and potential of these years the Methodist cause in Paythorne was again very soon in difficulties and in 1890 the circuit plan noted:

The preachers are requested to take charge of the class meetings at Paythorne and also to help in the re-establishment of the Sunday School.

About this time there was no school organist, no choir and in contrast to earlier years, no hospitality for preachers. Frequent changes in farm tenancies had disrupted the society and only four members remained.

Unfortunately membership numbers do little to tell the full story as they give no idea of how many adherents or children also attended services  these still being held at 2 p.m. every Sunday, followed by a class meeting at 3.30 P.m. For a short period the plan also listed monthly evening services and for about 2 years Mr. E. Lund of Paythorne was also on the plan as a local preacher.

At this time there were 14 other societies in the circuit  Wesley (125 members), Low Moor (29), Waterloo (31), Slaidburn (17), Bashall Eaves (27), Stopper Lane (17), Downham (14), Whalley (58), Waddington (24), Sawley (24), Harrop (5), Bolton (5), Gisburn (17) and Chatburn (39).

In Paythorne, as in most other churches at this time, there was only one communion service per quarter, also a 'fast day with social prayer'. Before 1905 only three or four collections were taken per 23 quarter, typically for the Education Fund (mainly for the education of ministers' children), the Local Preachers' Conveyancing Fund, the Quarterly Collection (for circuit funds) and General Chapel Fund (the connexional building fund).