was among the first communities to be visited by Methodist preachers.
George Whitefield preached here in 1738, and had the hose of the
town fire engine turned on him! John Wesley followed in 1746, and
visited Bridgwater at least eleven times but found it 'a dead,
was not until the beginning of the 19th Century that a local congregation
became properly established and built a chapel in King Street. Over
the next hundred years the Methodist community in the town grew
and diversified. King Street chapel was enlarged in 1860, at about
the same time that a group of Primitive Methodists opened a second
chapel in West Street. A third chapel, in St Mary Street, was opened
by Free Methodists in 1854 and a fourth by Bible Christian Methodists
in Polden Street in 1876.
During the Twentieth Century
these separate congregations gradually came together so that by
1980 all Bridgwaters' Methodists belonged to one united church,
meeting in Monmouth Street Chapel.
In 2001 a major programme of
renewal and redevelopment began that will transform the chapel and
schoolrooms into a centre for church and community work in the twenty-first
Bridgwater Methodist Centre will provide facilities for a wide range
of social programmes, for community activities and for the performing
arts, as well as for the ongoing work of Christian worship and education.
The aim of Bridgwater Methodist
Church is to be good news for the people of Bridgwater. We welcome
all into the life of our community, regardless of age, race, gender,
class or lifestyle.