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Penwith Methodist chapels close after well over 100 years of service

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 02, 2013

By Josh Barrie

  • From left, the Reverend Roger Greene, Jack Williams, who has preached on the circuit and who had been attending for 78 years, and the Reverend Julyan Drew.

  • The congregation together for the final service.

  • St Levan Chapel.

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TWO Methodist chapels built in Victorian times have closed after their "purposes were fulfilled".

Treen, built in 1834 and St Levan, set up in 1868, saw congregations gather for the last time on Sunday.

The two buildings made up one church, with their attendees now said to be "exploring" other options to find a new home in which to worship.

The Reverend Julyan Drew, the superintendent minister of the West Penwith Methodist circuit, paid tribute to the chapels and said, as with everything, times have to move on.

"I likened it to letting go, like when my wife has to take my slippers away when they get worn out – churches are like anything else in life, things change."

He said the final service was a mixture of sadness and acceptance, but also an opportunity to celebrate the memories people shared from times past, adding: "I am sad for the people, but everyone remembered good moments. The congregation is now looking for a new home.

"People may stay within the parish. The population has been larger over the years, and in the past the proportion of people who went to church was higher."

The final service was held in St Levan Methodist Hall and was led by the Reverend Drew and the recently retired Reverend Greene.

Some of the morning's preaching focused on history, with Reverend Greene stating: "We are proud of those who have gone before us, and we now move on."

He said St Levan was a particularly large chapel and its parish was too small.

Structural and evaluation surveys are now set to be carried out on the properties, which will determine their future.

He added he hopes they can be used for "something positive."

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