Blue plaque honour for Methodist leader

Mayor of Burnley Coun. Liz Monk, Mayor of Padiham Coun. Jean Cunningham, Coun. Roger Frost and guests at the unveiling of the plaque at the Central Methodist Church in memory of Samuel Chadwick.
Mayor of Burnley Coun. Liz Monk, Mayor of Padiham Coun. Jean Cunningham, Coun. Roger Frost and guests at the unveiling of the plaque at the Central Methodist Church in memory of Samuel Chadwick.

A blue heritage plaque has been unveiled to mark the life of a Burnley man who rose from poverty to become a leading light in the Methodist movement.

Samuel Chadwick, born in the poverty-stricken neighbourhood of Back Hammerton Street in 1860, went on to become President of the Methodist Conference and Principal of Cliff College.

He was a son of Burnley we can be immensely proud of

Roger Frost

The Burnley Civic Trust’s blue plaque, paid for by an anonymous donor, was unveiled on the wall of Burnley Central Methodist Church by Samuel Chadwick’s modern day equivalent Steven Wild.

At Cliff, Chadwick wrote The Way to Pentecost, which went to print as he was dying in 1932. He also wrote The Call to Christian Perfection. His works have been reprinted often since his death.

Phil Clarke, Superintendent Minister of Burnley Methodist Circuit, said: “Samuel Chadwick was born yards away from where this plaque now stands. He was somebody who had a hard start in life and rose to be an inspiration who shaped the Christian scene of our country.”

A service held before the unveiling heard Mr Wild tell of Samuel Chadwick’s achievements, which included preaching in front of the Royal Family and government at the national Armistice Day service held in the Royal Albert Hall in 1919.

Mr Wild said: “Unveiling this plaque is a red letter day for me. I am proud to be a Lancashire lad, as Samuel was, and to follow in his footsteps. He was an inspiration.”

Roger Frost, from the Civic Trust, said: “He was a son of Burnley we can be immensely proud of.”