The February 1837 issue of the The Baptist Magazine published by the Baptist Missionary Society reported on the opening of the new Baptist Chapel at Laverton, Somerset and the peculiar circumstances which required it.
CHAPELS OPENED, &c.
On Thursday, Dec. 22, a new Baptist chapel was opened at Laverton, near Frome, Somerset, when three sermons were preached, by the Rev. William Walton, of Trowbridge, from Psalm IXXX.1; Rev. W. H. Coombs, of Taunton, from Exod.xx. 24; and by Rev. William Jones, of Frome, from John xiv. 2. The devotional services were conducted by brethren Viney, of Beckington; Whitworth, (Wesleyan); and Dyer, jun., of Frome; Evans, of Westbury Leigh, and Armitage, of Heningsham, (Indep.) The collection amounted to £26. The whole expense of this neat and modest erection is £350, towards which the sum of £130 has already been collected, and the circumstances of the case are so peculiar that, it is presumed, were they generally known, the remainder would be supplied without delay by the haters of oppression; especially when directed against the servants of Jesus Christ. About 25 years since two families in this sequestered village, wishing to provide religious instruction for their poor neighbours, as well as for themselves, built a small place of worship at their own expense, aided by a trifling donation or two from Christian friends. In this, during the above period, worship has been regularly maintained, and a small Christian church formed, among whom fruit has been gathered to life eternal, and by whom exertions have been cheerfully and liberally made for the spiritually destitute, both at home and abroad. It has recently been found, however, that a legal error was committed in the conveyance of the land, which circumstances render it almost impossible to believe was an accidental one; in consequence of which, the whole of the premises have been taken possession of by the party from whom they were purchased, and the village chapel was immediately converted, by the rector, into a national schoolroom! The case is well-known and strongly recommended by the neighbouring ministers, both of the Baptist and Independent denominations ; but as the little church has no person connected with it who can make application on its behalf, the help of Christian friends at a distance will be received with especial gratitude. All the circumstances are well-known to the Rev. John Dyer, 6, Fen Court, London, by whom donations will be thankfully received.