Refugees’ Chapel Hanover Street and Hanover United Methodist Free Church, Gilnow Road.
The Methodist Chapel in Hanover Street was founded following a secession in 1834 from the congregation of the Ridgway Gates Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. The secessionists called themselves Wesleyan Refugees and the name-stone above the chapel entry was inscribed ‘Wesleyan Refuge’. It became known as the Refugees’ Chapel and took on the United Free Methodist denomination. In the printed baptism register which covers the 1838-1881 period, it is named as Refugees’ Chapel of Bolton-le-Moors. Some of the last baptisms at this chapel are duplicated in the 1881-1919 baptism register of the Hanover Chapel, Bolton-le-Moors. This chapel in Gilnow Road was the successor to the Hanover Street Refugees’ Chapel, as clearly shown in the marriage registers.
In the 1878-1885 register the marriages were all performed at the Free Methodist Chapel, Hanover Street according to the rites and ceremonies of the United Methodist Free Churches (this was the old Refugees’ Chapel under a new name). In the 1900-1912 register the marriages are continuous from 1900-1904 (page 10) at the United Methodist Free Church, Hanover Street. There is a jump of 3 years to 1907 and from page 11 on, marriages were at Hanover United Methodist Church, Gilnow Road.
The Refugees’ Chapel had a burial ground which was closed in 1854 along with most other church & chapel graveyards. LDS Film 1966747 includes a typescript of burials at ‘Hanover Street Methodist’. The typescript is headed ‘The Hanover Street Independent Methodist Church. Burial Ground. Particulars of interments in the above Burial Ground closed by Order in Council dated 22 May 1854’. There was only one chapel in Hanover Street and the Independent Methodist denomination is presumably an error. The United Free Methodists were not Independent Methodists. The typescript includes a few burials later than 1854, probably in unfilled family graves.