Bethesda Independent Chapel
Duncan Street East, Liverpool
Founded circa 1802, the Bethesda Chapel in Liverpool was situated in Duncan Street East, part of which remains as Hotham Street, probably in the area now occupied by Lime Street railway station.
An early Minister of the Chapel was John Ralph who used the Liverpool Registers as the basis of a new set of church records when he established a Chapel at Wigan in 1813 (see Hope Street Chapel, Wigan registers).
A later incumbent was the Reverend John Kelly, a notable Scottish orator, who first preached at Liverpool in January 1827 and was ordained as Minister in September 1829. Such was his success as a speaker that, after some years, a larger building was required and, in November 1837, the congregation moved to the newly built Crescent Chapel in Everton. Records of Kelly’s discourses at his ordination are held at the Liverpool Record Office.
In the 1830’s the Chapel was heavily involved with the social issues of the day, especially those concerning education. In 1832 the congregation petitioned the House of Lords on the Ireland Education act, ‘That the Government Plan of Education in Ireland may be carried into full Effect’1, whilst in Liverpool, the Chapel supported an associated school educating 190 boys and 100 girls.
1. 'House of Lords Journal Volume 64: 30 July 1832', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 64: 1831-1832, pp. 408-411. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=19361