The Gospel Car

The Gospel Car 

Despite all the many churches and chapels that were 'open' to the public in the later Victorian years, there was nonetheless a deep awareness that whole sections of society never crossed a single thresh-hold!     Some of the 'non-attenders' lived in scattered rural locations and others in urban slums.   Yet others were always on the move whether gypsies, fair-ground workers, or boat and barge people.   Living in a sub-culture of their own these people, on the margins of society, were strangers to school education for their children, and Christian fellowship for their families.  

To meet their needs the Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists and the Church Army decided to build 'homes on wheels' that that were also 'chapels on wheels' to visit the 'losers' within society just where they were.   This was the ministry of the Gospel Car, with a period of greatest success 1880-1914.  .   No original Gospel Car is known to have survived to the present day, however with the help of Newgate Motoring Solutions a carefully crafted replica is now at the Black Country Living History Museum and will be on display from Easter weekend until the end of August.    Newgate can speak for themselves:

‘Newgate Motoring Solutions is delighted to have been given the opportunity to offer sponsorship and support to the Gospel Car project.  We have been supplying cars to Clergy of all denominations since 1997.  Our Methodist Motoring Scheme is open to Presbyters, Deacons, Lay Workers, Local Preachers, Synod Secretaries, Circuit Stewards and Administration Staff – plus their families.  We have a good selection of our current offers on our dedicated Methodist web-page - or, for more information, you can simply call Nigel Williams on Freephone 0800 324 900’


Children from Eaton Park Primary Academy, Stoke- on-Trent are standing with the Gospel Car at Burslem Methodist Mission.  They have been learning about local heroes who 'let their light shine'.   Visit the Gospel Car on Saturday 9 April at the Black Country Living Museum to celebrate the life of Francis Asbury one of the Black Country's biggest local heroes of all time!