Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion

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Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, c. 1770 (unidentified artist)

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.[1]


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.[2]

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.[3] Additional Connexion churches were founded in Sierra Leone (see below), and the British and Sierra Leone movements re-established contact in 1839.[4]

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.[5]

The Connexion gave strong support to the Calvinistic Methodist movement in Wales in the 18th and early 19th centuries, including the foundation of a theological college at Trefeca in 1760.[6]



Today the Connexion has 22 congregations in England and "more than 30" in Sierra Leone.[7] A UK-registered charity provides financial help with ministers' wages and training and for Connexion schools and teaching salaries in the latter country.[8][9][10]

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.

Church Location Founded Link Minister
Bells Yew Green Chapel Bells Yew Green, Kent [1]
Bolney Village Chapel Bolney, West Sussex [2] Simon Allaby
Broad Oak Chapel Broad Oak, Kent 1867
Copthorne Chapel Copthorne, West Sussex 1822 [3]
Cradley Chapel Cradley, Herefordshire 1823 Ken Hart
South Street Free Church Eastbourne, East Sussex 1897 [4] David Batchelor
Ebley Chapel Ebley, Stroud, Gloucestershire [5]
Countess Free Church, Ely Ely, Cambridgeshire 1785 [6] Karl Relton
New Connexions Free Church, Ely Ely, Cambridgeshire [7] Keith Waters
Goring Free Church Goring-on-Thames, Berkshire 1788 [8] 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 [9]
Rosedale Community Church Cheshunt, Hertfordshire [10] Bethany Green
Sheppey Evangelical Church Leysdown-on-Sea, Kent [11] Joe Gregory
Shoreham Free Church Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex [12]
Slough Community Church Slough, Berkshire [13]
Zion Community Church St Ives St Ives, Cornwall Tim Dennick
Turners Hill Free Church Turners Hill, West Sussex [14] Geoff Chapman
Ote Hall Chapel Wivelsfield, East Sussex
Woodmancote Evangelical Free Church Woodmancote, Gloucestershire [15] Andrew Hiscock
Wormley Free Church Wormley, Hertfordshire 1834 [16] Ben Quant

Earlier churches[edit]

Connexion churches were formerly active in:


  1. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Methodism" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ Abstract of history. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  3. ^ Connexion Fellowships. Retrieved 18/12/2019.
  4. ^ The Elect Lady, Chapter 10.
  5. ^ Montreal Gazette, 15 February 1986. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  6. ^ The Gospel Coalition Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  7. ^ Connexion site. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  8. ^ Charity site. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  9. ^ There were said to be 16 congregations in Sierra Leone in 2003.Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Connexion Network". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Bodmin". The Cornishman. No. 81. 29 January 1880.
  12. ^ "North Street: The Countess of Huntingdon's Church, by Jennifer Drury". 24 August 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  13. ^ A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  14. ^ "St Mark, Preston- Lady Huntingdons Connexion". 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  15. ^ Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 774. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
  16. ^ "Oxfordshire Churches & Chapels website: South Stoke". Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  17. ^ Community Centre.
  18. ^ "About us | Worcester Live - Home to Swan Theatre and Huntingdon Hall". Retrieved 15 January 2020.

External links[edit]