Our photograph this week is the opening of the new chapel in Milford Street, Salisbury. The picture shows the congregation leaving the Free Methodist Church after the first service in 1897. This new chapel was erected on the site of an older church which had stood there for 45 years and cost £1,700. It had been free from debt for some years but although that debt had been removed they incurred another by purchasing an adjoining house in order to enlarge their building site. The opening ceremony was conducted by Mr HG Gregory, one of the trustees, in the presence of a large gathering of worshippers and friends – the foundation stones of the chapel were laid in the April of 1896.

The new chapel was spacious with the building work carried out to a high standard by plans tendered by Mr WH Dinsley of Chorley. Indeed, it was capable of accommodating 550 people as well as an orchestra and choir! At the opening, the choir took up a position on the steps leading to the entrance doors and opened the proceedings by singing the National Anthem. Mr William Sutton, as the senior trustee, then handed to Mr Gregory a case containing an ornamental silver key, with which he opened one of the main entrances and admitted the congregation, which almost entirely filled the building. The Rev E Hassen then delivered a short address in which he said that "while he did not wish to say anything derogatory to their having a large church membership he would point out that the real power of a church was greatest when, although small in point of numbers, its members were endowed with real spirituality".

The chapel today is a nightclub owned by Jonty and Amanda Newbery. It was opened in November 1997 after extensive alterations and includes the Vestry Bar – once the William IV public house.

* Our thanks to Jonty Newbery for providing the photo