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          THE FREE CHURCHES  
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  A Chapel of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion was founded at Shoreham in the year 1800, but the ground on which the building stands was not made over to the Trustees until 1812, when they acquired the site for £75.
  " Star Lane Chapel," as this place of worship was popularly named, became, at a time when the anti-High Church agitation was somewhat strong in the town, a sort of opposition to the Parish Church. In those days it was known as the " Protestant Free Church," and the minister was the Rev. J. E. Goode, a man who preached in a somewhat prosy style, " sermons so lengthy that few of his most zealous followers could sit them out."
           
  It is of interest to note the fact that the Rev. J. E. Goode successfully prosecuted his claim to the Dunmow Flitch in. 1859. This is believed to be the only recorded instance of that award being made to a Sussex claimant.
  In more recent years, the Congregationalists worshipped in Star Lane Chapel until their removal to the Church in Gordon Road, which is still in course of erection.* Meanwhile, the old Chapel after serving for some years as a public hall for lectures, concerts, and other entertainments was turned to its present use as a Cinema Theatre.
           
  The Baptists held their first meetings in the town, in a room over a butcher's shop and in a sail-maker's loft, until an iron chapel was erected in Western Road, to be superseded later by the permanent Chapel and Schoolroom, erected in 1880. Their first settled minister at Shoreham was the Rev. Joseph W. Harrald who baptized several of the early members of his church in the River Adur. Mr. Harrald was afterwards, for many years, the devoted friend and private secretary of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who was wont to refer to him as his " Armour Bearer." With Mrs. Spurgeon, he compiled an autobiography of the celebrated preacher's life which appeared in four volumes in 1897-8.
  The Particular Baptist Chapel in John Street was erected in 1867, and the Primitive Methodist Chapel in the High Street in 1879.   The Wesleyan Chapel in Brunswick Road was built in
           
  *This place of worship still retains the early traditions of its parent in Church Street. Mr. G. F. Harker, representing its congregation, was in 1912, at the Annual Conference at Ebley, chosen President of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion.
       
                 
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002