Dursley is now home to four churches which date from before the start of the 20th century, these being the joint parish churches of St. James in the town centre and St. Marks on Woodmancote, the Methodist Chapel in Castle Street and The Tabernacle in Kingshill Road, now home to the United Reformed Church. In addition to these, the Roman Catholic church of St. Dominic's can be found in Jubilee Road.
|At one time however there were several other churches or chapels in the town, typically started and attended by breakaway groups from the Established Church. One of these was in Hill Road, and accommodated the Independent Methodists before their cause went into decline and the chapel was taken over by another group who left the Tabernacle in 1826. The new occupants of the Hill Road Chapel didn't stay long though, they soon moved into their own building in Boulton Lane.|
Lane Chapel (Drill Hall), c1956
Copyright John Shipton
|The old chapel building in Hill Road still exists and is now home to a garage but the Boulton Lane Chapel didn't survive. Following the return of the Tabernacle splinter group to their original chapel, the building became empty. It thereafter took on a number of varied uses, as a Temperance Hall and a school as well as playing host to the Wesleyan Methodists while their own church near the Market House was rebuilt in 1863/4. In 1865, the Wesleyans decided to open the British School at the Boulton Lane Chapel which stayed until the Victoria School opened in The Knapp in 1898.|
Thereafter the Hall in Boulton Lane was handed over to the Dursley Volunteer Rifle Brigade who used it as a Drill Hall until demolition in 1959.
Roman Catholicism was absent from Dursley from the time of the reformation but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries it began to return. For a while worshippers attended the YMCA building in Long Street but moved to St. Dominic's when it was built in the 1930's at the same time as the surrounding houses.
Dominic's Church, Jubilee Road, Dec. 28th 2000
Copyright Andrew Barton