Background Story of the Chapel
The Story Today
We are a small country chapel, with a small and faithful membership. Most of our members are from the farming community. Everyone takes part in our regular events. The Easter Monday Tea, started in recent years, is popular around the Circuit, as is the Harvest Festival.
Our usual service is at 4pm but special services are held at 2.30pm including Easter, Harvest, Christmas etc ( Please see the preaching plan for details). We also have a regular family service at 11.00am where the adults join with the children. We have an active junior church which is very popular this meets at 11.00 am. Once a quarter we have a fellowship meeting, which everyone finds very valuable.
Cloud Chapel was founded in 1815 as a Primitive Methodist place of worship and has never closed its doors since. This makes it the longest-running Primitives' chapel in the world. The name features in the first ever preaching plan for Primitive Methodism, published in 1811. At that stage, mention of this location probably concerned services in the open air. Early meetings on or near The Cloud went on to be held at a farmhouse at Woodhouse Green, not far from Rushton. Previously, Baptists had held meetings there but their congregations dwindled, so the Primitive Methodists took over.
There had been a long record of non conformity in this area, stretching back to the 1650s. Woodhouse Green farmhouse is over 5 miles from the Anglican church at Leek, so this form of worship was permitted there, there being an embargo on 'other' services within 5 miles.
In 1815, William Clowes gave a piece of land for Cloud Chapel. Tradition says that it took just three days to raise the money, three weeks to build the chapel and £26 to pay for it. It was a simple stone building, to which a brick extension was added in 1958. Hugh Bourne signed the first indenture, in 1815, 'for such men as resided within one mile of it who were Primitive Methodists'.
See also the story about the chapel published by Methodist Heritage.