Winslow Nonconformists, chapels and other denominations

Winslow has had a strong nonconformist tradition since the 17th century, and local politics in the late 19th century seem largely to have been based on a Church / Chapel divide.


There was also a short-lived Wesleyan Methodist group which was established in 1868 in Keach's Meeting House. The Methodist Recorder reported in April 1869 that a "preaching place" had been opened and in June 1869 that a society had been formed at Winslow.

1871: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 3 Oct
  CONCERT.- In aid of Winslow Wesleyan Chapel building fund there was, on the evening of Wednesday, a concert of sacred music (vocal and instrumental), in the large room of the Bell Hotel, Winslow, given by the members of the Stewkley Wesleyan choir, conducted by Mr. Griffin.  There was a large and highly respectable attendance, including a large number of visitors from the surrounding neighbourhood.  The performers gave the highest satisfaction.

There was another concert at The Bell in Jan 1872 (Bicester Herald, 12 Jan). Later they had a chapel in Monkey Alley to the east of the High Street (see Rose Cottages). It was marked (at Keach's Meeting House) on the 1880 Ordnance Survey map, and baptisms of Winslow Methodists are recorded in 1871 and 1875. The Buckingham Express reported a marriage on 10 Oct 1874 "at the Primitive Methodist Chapel at Winslow by the Rev. Geo. Fowler, William Tomes to Jane Webb". It is listed in the Returns of Accommodation provided in Wesleyan Methodist Chapels (1875, England South and Wales p.15) as being in the Buckingham circuit and having a capacity of 20. According to A.J. Clear (Buckingham Advertiser, 27 Feb 1932), the building was previously used as a school by Thomas Piper. After the Methodist chapel folded, the building was used by some Strict Baptists until the death of Richard Gibbs (1878), after which it was demolished to build Rose Cottages.


There were individual Quakers in Winslow:

At the Bucks Quarter Sessions in Oct 1690, "The house of Robert Uding of Winslow was registered as a public meeting house". The Baptists already had a meeting-house, so it is possible that this was for Quakers, but there are no further references to it. Buckingham and (briefly) Nash are the nearest places which had regular Quaker meetings.

Roman Catholics

St Alban's Roman Catholic Chapel opened in 1948 in a wing of Winslow Hall, and closed in 2016. Roman Catholic services are now held in Winslow parish church.

Church Army

The Church of England's evangelical answer to the Salvation Army (founded 1882) briefly met in Winslow with the support of the vicar:

1886: Bicester Herald, 11 June
  THE CHURCH ARMY AT WINSLOW.- The services in the Boys’ School, Winslow, have come to a somewhat abrupt termination, in consequence of the school committee refusing to any longer allow the use of the school for the meetings.

Copyright 26 March, 2021