Bishop Street Wesleyan Chapel

Bishop Street Wesleyan Chapel

Bishop Street Chapel is the oldest surviving Methodist place of worship in Leicester and the oldest building overlooking the Town Hall Square. The stone plaque in the pediment records that it is a Wesleyan Chapel, built in the year of Waterloo, 1815. The Wesleyans were one of the Methodist groups that could trace their origins back to the ministry of John Wesley. Wesleyan Methodism became part of The Methodist Church in 1932, when what is called ‘The Uniting Conference’ took place in Leicester.

The building is often praised for its elegant regency design. It was the work of Rev’d William Jenkins, who was both an architect and a Methodist minister. For years the Chapel, with its manse on the right and Sunday School building on the left, overlooked Leicester’s cattle market. After the building of the Town Hall and the laying out of the square it acquired a more genteel setting and has come to provide a keynote for the visual character of Leicester – modest, brick, and non-conformist.