Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bethel Chapel, Guildford - part 2

Continuing my photographs of Bethel Chapel, Guildford.

Before the first Bethel Chapel, a 'tin Tabernacle', now demolished, was built, the church first met in Ward Street Halls, now occupied by part of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The elegant Gothic exterior should not fool readers, as the Strict baptist Church met in the basement hall, a room described as 'quite underground'. What interests me is that this secular building (opposite the Quaker Meeting-House) should look much more ecclesiastical than Bethel Chapel.

This is the official stone set into the wall at Bethel Chapel, identifying the building. It was architect-designed, but that much is obvious from its unique appearance. The chapel sign no longer has the 'Strict and Particular' identifier, as people do not generally understand what that means, and it sounds less than welcoming.

And here it is in all its glory, hipped roof, round-headed windows, large dormer and all. A really nice little building, and best of all, dedicated to the worship of God 'in Spirit and in Truth'. The blue thing at the extreme right of the picture is a large and unsightly skip.

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