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West Bay Methodist Church Project

I have visited Westbay a couple of times, and on each visit I thought that there must be something more to the disused church on the beach than first meets the eye. So on my last visit I endeavourd to look a little closer and think a little harder. I was attracted to it's simple beauty, although rundown and unloved the building still had a unique character. I wanted to photograph the building but, it's location made it very difficult, there is a pub across the road to the right, a shop immediatley in front of it and parked cars tucked in close to it's right hand side. So I wenr in close to focus on the details.

The photographs.

Rather than produce a factual record of the church, I wanted to capture the elements that interested and inspired me leading to this set of photographs. On first inspection the building is rather dull, drab green walls with little interest. The location is great, resting on the edge of the great shingle beach, but photographically uninspiring and due to the proximity of parked cars, shops and the pub challenging. So why bother?

The paint faded by age is exactly how it should be . The grasses beyond the fence overgrown, uncared for, unloved but adding very importantly to the run down face of what had been a very smart Chapel. A pristine white gloss fence, iron stained from rusting nails, scarred with patches of algae. The smart rendered walls once very correct with interlocking geometric lines, now struggle to shine through the weathered render and paint. This is what I saw and wanted to capture. One day when the Chapel is restored it will take on a new character. But now as I see it, it's at its best. Used a texture layer based on the stone walls to connect all the images, destarurated the colours to make more of its already faded facade. Enjoy the Photographs.

Monday, 04 May 2020

Tryptich Sets.

00360bn LRG

00361bn LRG

00362bn LRG

The History.

In 1817 Dr Roberts, a Methodist preacher in Bridgeport together with William twitcher they started open air preaching on the key at West Bay taking their message aboard vessels and holding Bible readings in a local sail loft.

A Wesleyan Society was formed in 1828 and meetings were originally held in a local house led by William a Loveless. Two years later John Cox took over the congregation which soon out grew the house.

A small chapel was opened in 1849' built on land granted by the Harbour Commissioners at a cost of £200.00 the work was completed by Messrs. Cox & Son Shipbuilders. The doors were opened in the same year on December 4th.

Closed during WWII and sadly damaged during exercises for the D Day landings. The Chapel on the beach was re-opened on Easter Day 6th April 1947 by Reverend C.O Hunwick. A diminishing congregation led to the final closure of the Chapel in May 2007. Today the freehold is held by the Bridport Area Development Trust. The have secured planning consent to convert the grade 2 listed chapel,into a visitor centre.