Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion
The Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion is a small society of evangelical churches, founded in 1783 by Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, as a result of the Evangelical Revival. For many years it was strongly associated with the Calvinist Methodist movement of George Whitefield.
The Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion was founded in 1783 by Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, as a result of the Evangelical Revival. It seceded from the Church of England, founded its own training establishment – Trevecca College – and built up a network of chapels across England in the late 18th century.
In 1785 John Marrant (1755–1791), an African American from New York and the South who settled in London after the American Revolutionary War, became ordained as a minister with the Connexion. He was supported in travel to Nova Scotia as a missionary to minister to the Black Loyalists who had been resettled there by the Crown. Many of the members of the congregation which he organized in Birchtown, Nova Scotia later chose to emigrate and resettle in Sierra Leone, the new British colony in West Africa. What was called a Province of Freedom was founded in 1792. Additional Connexion churches were founded in Sierra Leone (see below), and the British and Sierra Leone movements re-established contact in 1839.
The Connexion had earlier efforts at congregation building in Canada. In the 1850s, the entrepreneur Thomas Molson built a church for the Connexion group near his brewery in Montreal. It was poorly attended as the city's population was predominantly Catholic. The building was adapted for use as a military barracks.
Today the Connexion has 22 congregations in England and "more than 30" in Sierra Leone. A UK-registered charity provides financial help with ministers' wages and training and for Connexion schools and teaching salaries in the latter country.
Of the UK churches, seven normally have full-time pastors: Eastbourne, Ely, Goring, Rosedale, St. Ives, Turners Hill and Ebley. Total regular attendance at all churches is approximately 1,000 adults and children.
|Bells Yew Green Chapel||Bells Yew Green, Kent|||
|Bolney Village Chapel||Bolney, West Sussex||||Simon Allaby|
|Broad Oak Chapel||Broad Oak, Kent||1867|
|Copthorne Chapel||Copthorne, West Sussex||1822|||
|Cradley Chapel||Cradley, Herefordshire||1823||Ken Hart|
|South Street Free Church||Eastbourne, East Sussex||1897||||David Batchelor|
|Ebley Chapel||Ebley, Stroud, Gloucestershire|||
|Countess Free Church, Ely||Ely, Cambridgeshire||1785||||Karl Relton|
|New Connexions Free Church, Ely||Ely, Cambridgeshire||||Keith Waters|
|Goring Free Church||Goring-on-Thames, Berkshire||1788||||Nigel Gordon-Potts|
|Hailsham Gospel Mission||Hailsham East Sussex|
|St Stephen's Church, Middleton||Middleton, Greater Manchester|
|Mortimer West End Chapel||Mortimer West End, Hampshire|||
|Rosedale Community Church||Cheshunt, Hertfordshire||||Bethany Green|
|Sheppey Evangelical Church||Leysdown-on-Sea, Kent||||Joe Gregory|
|Shoreham Free Church||Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex|||
|Slough Community Church||Slough, Berkshire|||
|Zion Community Church St Ives||St Ives, Cornwall||Tim Dennick|
|Turners Hill Free Church||Turners Hill, West Sussex||||Geoff Chapman|
|Ote Hall Chapel||Wivelsfield, East Sussex|
|Woodmancote Evangelical Free Church||Woodmancote, Gloucestershire||||Andrew Hiscock|
|Wormley Free Church||Wormley, Hertfordshire||1834||||Ben Quant|
Connexion churches were formerly active in:
- Bath, Somerset: founded in 1765, later Trinity United Reformed Church and now the Museum of Bath Architecture
- Bodmin, Cornwall: in January 1880 the congregation bought the "very desirable" property known as Springfield for a minister's residence.
- Brighton, East Sussex, the first of the churches, was founded at North Street in 1761.
- East Grinstead, West Sussex: Zion Chapel founded in 1810, now the West Street Baptist Church
- Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Portland Chapel, North Place was built at the expense of Robert Capper in 1816 for a Connexion congregation. It was later joined by and then merged with a Baptist Congregation from Golden Valley, Cheltenham.
- Fordham, Essex was active in the 19th century.
- Preston, Lancashire, founded before 1826, in Pole Street, is now closed.
- South Stoke, Oxfordshire, founded in 1820, is now a private house.
- Steyning, West Sussex: Jarvis Hall, a Connexion church from 1835 to 1841
- St John's Free Church, Westcott, Surrey remains as a community centre.
- Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, founded in 1789, known as Tyldesley Top Chapel, now belongs to a Pentecostal congregation.
- Worcester, Worcestershire had closed as a chapel by 1970. It is now a concert hall known as Huntingdon Hall.
- York Street, Dublin, built in 1808
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. .
- Abstract of history. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
- Connexion Fellowships. Retrieved 18/12/2019.
- The Elect Lady, Chapter 10.
- Montreal Gazette, 15 February 1986. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
- The Gospel Coalition Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Connexion site. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- Charity site. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- There were said to be 16 congregations in Sierra Leone in 2003.Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- "Connexion Network". www.cofhconnexion.org.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- "Bodmin". The Cornishman. No. 81. 29 January 1880.
- "North Street: The Countess of Huntingdon's Church, by Jennifer Drury". 24 August 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "St Mark, Preston- Lady Huntingdons Connexion". genuki.org.uk. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 774. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
- "Oxfordshire Churches & Chapels website: South Stoke". Oxfordshirechurches.info. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- Community Centre.
- "About us | Worcester Live - Home to Swan Theatre and Huntingdon Hall". www.worcesterlive.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
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