Winchelsea Chapel

History

Methodism came to this part of Sussex in 1756, initially to Rye with John Wesley himself visiting there in 1758. Winchelsea formed its own Society in 1774, though there is evidence Methodists were meeting together in Winchelsea before then. The current chapel was built in 1785 and John Wesley preached from its pulpit when he visited in 1789. When John Wesley returned to the village the following year, the chapel was too small for all those that thronged to hear him so he was forced once more to preach outdoors under what became known as the Wesley Tree by St. Thomas' churchyard. Being just six months before he died, this turned out to be the last outdoor sermon John Wesley ever preached.

The Present Day

Although weekly services are no longer held in the chapel, it is still used for occasional meetings and services. Open Days are held regularly and the chapel remains available to book for meetings, retreats or educational visits.