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History - Circuit Membership

Before the chapel was built the growing body of Knutsford Methodists had established an association with the Northwich Circuit, and this association continued for a further eleven years after the opening. Then, in 1807, by which time the Chapel had become a notable entity in its own right, the affiliation transferred to the Macclesfield Circuit. This was an unusual circumstance, testifying to the importance by then attached to the Knutsford Chapel. The Macclesfield Circuit already encompassed an immense area and the inclination, if anything, would have been to lessen rather than increase its connection.

The Macclesfield Circuit Plan allocated a Minister to Knutsford for every fourth Sunday. He normally arrived on the Saturday evening and returned home on the following Tuesday morning. This gave time not only to take services but also to visit the members, especially those who were ill.
The other Sundays were served by the band of Local Preachers, who came on foot or horse-back, exposed to all weathers and often traveling considerable distances.

The Macclesfield connection continued for a further fifty or so years until the formation in 1864 of the Alderley Edge and Knutsford Circuit (including also the Chapels of Mobberley, Snelson, Warford, Hough and Mottram St. Andrew). This occurred one year before the opening of Knutsford's present Methodist Chapel. The Rev. William Edwards, based at Alderley, was the new Circuit's first Superintendent Minister.

Even after this time the new Circuit came under the Macclesfield District until finally, in 1889, the Wesleyan Conference sanctioned the requested transfer to the District of Manchester.


Articles for the history archive of the website