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Newton Saint Petrock chapel building, as we know it today, was built in 1904. However, the history of the chapel and the establishing of a congregation here in the village began much earlier. In 1818 a Rev John Gould retired from his parish in Croyd and came to live in the area. Rev Gould befriended the local blacksmith, a young man by the name of Frank Thorne.
Mr Thorne had a heart for God and a gift for preaching and so, under the discipleship of Rev Gould, whilst working at his anvil all week, spent his Sundays walking the local lanes to preach the word of God in the villages nearby. With some success hearts were touched and thus a congregation was formed and Mr Thorne was ordained as the first minister of this church, which numbered 21 members, on 27th December 1827.
After a few years a piece of land was donated by Mr Thorne’s father for the building of a Chapel and minister’s house next to the Smithy in the village. The new Chapel was completed and opened on a bitterly cold January day in 1830, celebrated happily by a large crowd. Mr Thorne pastored the church here for 20years before emigrating to America. On his leaving he gave the chapel to the Baptist denomination.
The congregation continued to thrive under successive ministers over the coming years with baptism services held at Newton Mill and the River Torridge. The first recorded trustees of Newton Saint Petrock Chapel were the forefathers of many present day members of the congregation. The church grew and in November 1903 a meeting was held to propose the building of a new Chapel which was agreed unanimously. The stone laying ceremony of the new building was celebrated on Whit Monday 1904 and on its completion the old chapel became the school room, which is now used as a community centre for the village.
Newton Saint Petrock Chapel continues to be a place of welcome, comfort and hospitality to any who would like to visit.
We are associated with South West Baptist Association.