Eaugate is situated in Moulton Fen, once an isolated hamlet of scattered farmsteads and cottages – not to be confused with the Moulton Eaugate Road Methodist chapel which once stood in the nearby village of Moulton Chapel.
It was in 1952 that Mary Coles, a retired Methodist deaconess, established a Sunday school at a house in Eaugate after learning of how children were walking great distances in order to attend a Sunday school.
With the help of the circuit, she identified a plot of land and found a “redundant chapel” – a pre-fabricated structure made of galvanised iron, with wood lining within (known as a tin tabernacle). This had been used by the Methodists in Swallowbeck, near Lincoln, until they built a permanent church. Now surplus to their requirements, they donated it to the Eaugate project. Expenses in connection with transporting and assembling the building were defrayed by contributions, and a grant from the Rank (Methodist) Trust Fund.
Sister Mary performed the opening in 1955 at a service conducted by the superintendent of the Spalding circuit, the Rev Wm Fielder (formerly a minister at Swallowbeck). It had seating for 75 and later became known as the “Young People’s and Children’s Church”. Plans to extend the range of worship in order to accommodate adults did not materialise, although all were welcome at special events and services.
Owing to a reduction in the numbers of scholars and helpers, the church closed in 1968.
Perhaps someone who attended this place or knew it could tell their story. And also tell where the tabernacle stood and what happened to it after closure.
(1) An early photo of the building can be found on the website of Swallowbeck Methodist Church.
(2) There is a picture of Mary Coles, with some of the children, in the Spalding Guardian 8th August 1955.
Spalding Guardian 29th July 1955
Lincolnshire Free Press 23rd July 1968