Bethel chapel for sale

Bethel Chapel, Military Road.

The Bethel Strict and Particular Baptist chapel on Military Road is to be put up for sale.

Bethel’s founder, James Weller had been a prominent figure in the Strict Baptist cause in Kent throughout the 1830s. He was born in Headcorn where he became a poor farmer and was baptised into the Church of England.

In around 1828 James became seriously ill and at that time he experienced a spiritual conversion, adopted Calvinistic Baptist beliefs and was re-baptised in Maidstone in 1831.

He preached regularly over the next few years at chapels across Kent then came to his parent church at Burwash as a 31-year-old preacher in 1838. He drew large crowds and enjoyed a growing reputation enabling him to continue visiting chapels across East Sussex and Kent.

His preaching was influential, its effect on the wife of the then Mayor of Rye caused a spiritual conversion which led to her becoming a Baptist and founding the Bethel Strict and Particular Baptist Church in Military Road in 1858.

All good things must come to an end as they say and sadly, the chapel closed in December and as the building is now redundant it is about to go onto the open market. The agents handling the sale have confirmed that offers in excess of £140,000 are invited, further details are available on


Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. To preserve this beautiful building the Council should release it into residential use rather than D1 community use. This would bring in the most money for the building and would justify its complete renovation and therefore preservation. A sensitive restoration sympathetic to its historical fabric can be conditioned by planning conditions and in this way preserve its external appearance that brings such a big contribution to its street setting. Community use here would not bring in sufficient revenue to economically justify its renovation.Old historic buildings if needed to be preserved, as this lovely building does, require an economic rationale with which to preserve them.


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