The first Moravian Chapel in England

The Moravians trace their history to a religious movement instituted in Bohemia by John Huss. Originally simply known as the "United Brethren", they settled in Saxony and a small village community at Herrnhut was built. Benjamin Ingham (1712-1772), a Yorkshire man and member of John Wesley's original society at Oxford, accompanied Wesley to Georgia where he saw some of the missionary work of the Brethren at first hand. He visited the village at Saxony and on his return to England began to evangelize in Yorkshire, Cheshire and the Midlands. Dukinfield was one of the first places he had success and here, a small band of followers formed a society in 1738. In 1743 the Brethren began to meet at the house of John Kelsall, which was licensed for the purpose and in 1751, the first Moravian Chapel was opened. A chapel house was also built on the east side to accommodate visitors (see illustration).


Later, there were plans laid to draw up a model community at Dukinfield similar to the community in Saxony, but due to the passing of the Dukinfield estates to the Astleys, who refused to renew their tenure, these plans were regrettably abandoned. The society was forced to relocate and their community eventually came to fruition at Fairfield in 1785.


For details of the community at Fairfield visit the following website: Macdonalds Home Page click on Moravian in the right-hand frame menu.

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