Congregational & United Reform- (see also Methodist Churches)
Abbey Road Congregational Church Originally known as the Rock Meeting House and then the Independent Chapel, It opened in September 1847 with seats for 800. Closed in August 1981 and demolished for flats in 1982. The congregation joined up with that of Furrough Cross.
During World War 2 for a nine month period prior to the invasion of Europe this church was the Garrison church of American Service men and many took their last Sacrement here before going to the beaches of Normandy, many never to return
Cary Street Independent Chapel Opened in April 1833 by a break away group who originally worshipped in the independent Trinity Church, until that Church joined the C of E (see modern parishes page). The group had worshipped in a cottage in Swan Street until they could erect this Chapel which had seating for 350 people. A school was later built to the left hand side. In 1842/3 after a disagreement the majority of the congregation left and worshipped firstly at Mr Pengelly’s schoolrooms and then at the Union Hall, until in 1846 they purchased the land at the junction of Rock Road and Abbey Road and built the Rock Meeting House which became the Abbey Road Congregational Church. In 1877 the Cary Street chapel was purchased by the Belgrave Congregation and resold for commercial use. NOTE baptisms are on the IGI.
Next to Abbey Road Congregational Church site stands the building of the Non-Conformist British School opened in 1853 - now used as a hall and disabled fellowship centre. It has been used as a Synagogue, and by Plymouth Brethren & Unitarians
In 1866 a Joshua Wilson of Tunbridge Wells came to Torquay on a visit, he purchased a plot of land in Belgrave Road and erected a temporary churchout of timber with a zinc covered roof and seating 500 people, in time the congregation outgrew this building so a plot of land was acquired in Morgan’s Nursery and a new building (shown here) was erected and opened in November 1870, it became known as Belgrave Congregational Church and although repaired after being bombed in WW2, was to suffer structural problems in the 1960s and was demolished in 1974 and replaced by Central Church. (see Wesleyan page as well)
The old temporary building was bought by the East Vitifer Mining Company who moved it to their works and used it as a house and offices.
Another view of Belgrave Church taken from the Morgan Avenue side. A church hall was built adjoining and this still stands and is used by Age Concern as a day centre for the elderly
Central Church- United Reform & Methodist
Replaced the Belgrave Congregational Church, which stood on the same site, Opened in September 1976, as joint venture between the congregations of Belgrave Congregational Church, Union St Wesleyan Chapel and Market Street Primitive Methodist Chapel
Furrough Cross Church
Built in 1852 as a free/independent church (a break away from the St Marychurch Parish Church),and financed by Sir Culling Eardley, then from 1902 as a Congregational church and finally in 1981 as a United Reform Church, and still very much in use
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