Presbyterianism Influences on Stroud St Laurence's Church

The earliest dissenting group to build a chapel in Stroud were the Presbyterians. They first met in a barn in Silver Street, which was licensed for worship in 1689. As the community grew they adopted the Congregational system and built the Old Chapel in what is now called Chapel Street. The Bedford Street Congregational church was built later in 1837. Worship continued at both places until 1970, when everyone united and joined the Congregational church in Bedford Street.

However, the Presbyterians were just the first of many dissenting denominations to take root in Stroud. The Baptists built a chapel in John Street in 1842, the Primitive Methodists opened a chapel in Parliament Street in 1836 (now home to the Cotswold Players), a meeting room for the Plymouth Brethren still exists in Acre Street and a Unitarian chapel was built in Lansdowne in 1876. Even a Synagogue was opened in 1882 in the Slad Road.

From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society

WM Primitive Methodist Chapel by kind permission of Wilf Merrett