Stogursey: Nonconformity

A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1992.

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'Stogursey: Nonconformity', in A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes), (London, 1992) pp. 156-157. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]


There were two recusants in the parish in the 1590s (fn. 1) and two Roman Catholics at Shurton in 1715. (fn. 2)

Two meeting house licences were issued in 1689 and a Presbyterian meeting was held in the parish c. 1690. (fn. 3) The meeting comprised 100 members and a minister in 1718, when a second meeting was said to have ceased. (fn. 4) There is no further record of Presbyterians but an Independent meeting house was licensed in 1786. (fn. 5) It had closed by 1822 when Congregationalists held cottage services in the parish. In 1823 a church was formed and a soap factory was bought for use as a chapel. It was enlarged in 1835 but services had ceased by 1851. In 1863 the chapel was reopened and in the 1890s a Sunday school was built. (fn. 6) The chapel, in Castle street, was still open in 1973 and was registered as a United Reformed church in 1974. (fn. 7) It closed in 1977, following an agreement to unite with the congregation of the parish church, (fn. 8) and the building became a community meeting room. A Congregational chapel at Stolford was recorded in 1872 and 1896 and services were held in the same period at Burton and Shurton. (fn. 9)

A Particular Baptist chapel was built at Burton in 1833 following weekly prayer meetings. The church had 11 members and a minister when it joined the Western Baptist Association in 1836. (fn. 10) In 1851 attendance was 81 at morning service and 72 in the evening; 29 children attended the Sunday school. (fn. 11) The chapel was still open in 1985 but did not belong to the Baptist Union. (fn. 12) It has a small graveyard with an adjoining manse. (fn. 13)

In 1846 a small Primitive Methodist chapel was built at Stolford. In 1851 there were 29 people at morning service and 35 in the afternoon; 9 children attended the Sunday school in the morning and 11 in the afternoon. (fn. 14) The chapel was acquired by Baptists in 1884 and had a congregation of between 30 and 50. It was served by the minister of Burton chapel and was still in use in 1937 (fn. 15) but may have closed soon afterwards. It was ruinous in 1985.


  • 1. S.D.N.Q. v. 115; Recusant Roll, ii (Cath. Rec. Soc. lvii), 141.
  • 2. Cath. Religion in Som. (1826), 33.
  • 3. S.R.O., Q/RR meeting ho. lics.; A. Gordon, Freedom after Ejection (1917), 93.
  • 4. T. G. Crippen, Nonconf. in Som. 39.
  • 5. S.R.O., D/D/Rm 1.
  • 6. Rep. Som. Cong. Union (1896); P.R.O., HO 129/4/5/12.
  • 7. S.R.O., D/N/np. c (S/2356); G.R.O., worship reg. no. 10415.
  • 8. S.R.O., D/N/scu 7/16/18.
  • 9. Morris & Co. Dir. Som. (1872); Rep. Som. Cong. Union (1896).
  • 10. H. J. Hamblin & A. J. Whitby, Baptists in Bridgwater (1937), 83-4; F. H. Cockett, Partnership in Service [n.d., after 1973], 30.
  • 11. P.R.O., HO 129/4/5/5.
  • 12. Baptist Union Dir. (1981-2).
  • 13. Hamblin & Whitby, Baptists in Bridgwater, 84. The chapel closed in 1989.
  • 14. P.R.O., HO 129/4/5/5.
  • 15. H. J. Hamblin, Romance of a Wayside Sanctuary, 8, 12; Hamblin & Whitby, Baptists in Bridgwater, 84.