St Johns Wesleyan Methodist Church

This church occupies a site at the junction of Belvidere road and Devonshire Road west (to the right in the picture). It is built of yellow sandstone of the same type as the Trinity Presbyterian also in Belvidere Road.

This church, in early Decorated style and with handsome twin spires, was erected in 1862 as the second phase of the South Circuit’s extension scheme. It opened as St John’s Wesleyan Chapel, Belvidere Road on 13th February 1863 with 910 seats.  Schools for 400 children were attached. It was enlarged in 1876 but in 1878 it changed and became a Welsh Methodist Chapel. In 1882 it declared its independence of the Wesley Circuit and was constituted a circuit in its own right. However it rejoined the Wesley Circuit in 1914.

It closed in 1917.

In 1921 there was an application to build a cinema on the site of the chapel which had been closed for almost 5 years.  The application was denied, and later in 1921 the Welsh congregation from David Street Chapel moved into the building, which was then renamed the “Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel” (also 1936 Kelly’s).

In 1950 it became a independent Reformed Baptist place of worship and is now known as the Belvidere Road Independent Baptist Church.

At some stage in its history it has lost the upper spires of the twin towers which flank the entrance to this Gothic church, thus its modern appearance is different to the shot here.

Older Birth certificates may use any one of its several names.