Belper - Primitive Methodists (1815)

However, missionary activity picked up again. Bourne writes, "A few enterprising individuals again entered upon missionary labours, and the Lord set before them an open door. Belper in Derbyshire was the first place opened on this occasion; and several pious praying labourers from the societies at Mercaston, Weston-under-Wood, and Tumditch, laboured diligently in the work at Belper. The meetings there, on some occasions, continued late in the evening, on account of souls being in distress. When these powerful meetings were closed, the praying people were accustomed to sing through the streets as they returned home. This circumstance procured them the name of ‘Ranters,' which afterwards spread very extensively."

Clowes writes, “Our mission extended to Belper and our labours were crowned with prosperity. Mr Strutt, the proprietor of several large cotton factories, perceiving a decided change wrought by our instrumentality in many of his work-people, became very friendly to us. The place in which we worshipped being far too small, we made application to Mr Strutt for land on which to erect a Chapel, he kindly offered us as much land as we wanted at a shilling per yard; a chapel was soon raised, which I, with others, had the pleasure of opening.”

From, ‘The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion from its origin, by John Petty, 1860. p48

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