The chapel has gone by a few names since it opened in 1820. From “Etruria Wedgewood Chapel” and “Wesleyan Methodist Chapel”, the chapel is now known as “The Old Chapel Etruria”. It is a grade II listed building that has been beautifully restored to host funeral and celebration of life services. 

Jesse Shirley built the chapel in 1820 replacing a previous chapel elsewhere in Etruria. Jesse was well known within the area for building the Etruscan Bone and Flint Mill. He had two sons Jesse and Henry who would eventually take over the business, Jesse Jr in particular is well known within the area.

Jesse Shirley died on the 9th of October 1875 aged 56. There is a commemorative stone tablet in his and his wife’s memory on the wall in the chapel still today.

Since it’s erection in 1820, the chapel was used regularly for meetings of Methodists and hosted many weddings, funeral services and local events. There used to be a separate Sunday school at the back of the building that at one time catered for 180 children. The school was eventually turned into the private property it still is today. 

Below we have collated some beautiful memories from residents of the area at the time the chapel was in use. We hope their stories help to give a sense of the love that fills the chapel space and how special the building really is. We also hope in some small way, as many memories are from those who have passed away, to keep their memory alive and well. 

Do you have a history with the chapel? We would love to hear about them!
Please get in touch with our marketing team with any photos or memories you would like to share on this page.

“Wow what a blast from the past.. I grew up in Etruria.. I used to go to this church and the Sunday school at the back every sunday.. I have so many wonderful memories in the Chapel. Easter services, harvest festival services and I’ve been Mary in the Christmas service many times.. I used to always play xylophone upstairs in front of the beautiful organ.. my parents would be downstairs watching us play the music. I’m so happy you have brought it back to life”

– Memories of the chapel from Helen Ashley

“My mum’s funeral was held here on 14th February 2006, the photo is from their wedding day taken outside of the chapel” 

-Memories of the chapel from Dawnie Brookes Meigh

The last article on the chapel was published on Wednesday the 17th of March 2004 by journalist Hannah Hiles with the Sentinel (now Stoke Live).

“The chapel was actually reopened for my nan’s funeral and to our knowledge was the last funeral held there in February of 2006. My nan and granddad got married there and it was very special as they had two vicars which was unheard of back then. 

The band conductor was John Allen Etruria Wind Band on a Wednesday night and they used to play at the Christmas concert. My mum was in the choir and the organ player was called Grantham Eardley and he ran the Sunday school in the 60’s.

They used to have an anniversary every year where the Sunday school children used to round the street collecting and then the chapel would take all the Sunday school children to New Brighton or Rhyl for the day in the 40’s and 50’s”

– Memories of the chapel from Lindsey Scott 

2018

The chapel came into the hands of an architect in 2018. He set about to restore this beautiful building and has done so with complete attention to detail, love and care. This restoration took over 5 years to complete and most was done from scratch by the architect himself, below are photos of how the chapel looked back in 2018!

 

Today

Kate Moran and her family took over the every day running of the chapel in February of 2023 and the chapel officially opened it’s doors to the public in April of 2023. The chapel will now host religious and non religious funeral services for the residents of Stoke On Trent, Newcastle Under Lyme and beyond. 

“We are so excited to be opening the doors to The Old Chapel again. Welcoming in families to say goodbye to their loved ones in this beautiful space, feels very special.”

-Kate Moran 2023

 

Huge thank you to everyone who shared their personal stories with us and to the many people who have researched the building and it’s history. The sources for all the above information are below. To know more please contact us.