“For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee” (Deuteronomy 4:32)

A Short History of North Road Chapel

compiled by R. J. Steward

To His disciples, the Lord said: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter” (John 13:7).  The long view of history proves the veracity of these words.  God’s sovereign design in ordaining tumultuous or distressing circumstances can, in the moment, be utterly invisible and inexplicable; confounding human understanding.  The most faithful of saints may cry:O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?(Daniel 12:8).  But the process of time, and gradual unfolding of His purposes casts a new light upon past darkness, revealing the perfection of His works and ways.

The course of true Christianity in the town of Bideford has been a tortuous one, on many occasions opposed, or seemingly thwarted, by ‘wicked devices’.  Nevertheless, a sanctified hindsight will see to what extent, “God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day” (Genesis 50:20).  Indeed, for a town of modest size, in its relatively remote location, it has been blessed with a remarkable number of significant Christian characters.

A godly Puritan influence reached North Devon in the immediate aftermath of the English Civil War; as men who were perceived to be of suitable calibre were appointed to various local parishes, including John Howe (1630-1705) at Torrington, and William Bartlet (1610-1682) at Bideford.  They enjoyed only a brief tenure before the political and religious tide turned again, and the Act of Uniformity in 1662 brought about their ejection.  The consequences of this adversity bore parallels to the first century, when, “they that were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose … travelled … preaching the word ” (Acts 11:19).  Debarred from his church building, and forbidden to preach, Bartlet began holding services in private houses in Bideford, for which he was prosecuted and imprisoned.  These difficulties notwithstanding, the meetings continued, premises were obtained, and an independent, dissenting congregation was established in the town.  Nor would they be long alone.  A church comprised of French Huguenots also existed in Bideford by 1685, including the in-laws of the diarist Samuel Pepys.

At the end of the Seventeenth Century, the accession to the throne of William and Mary brought further change to the ecclesiastical landscape, and circumstances were more favourable to evangelical Protestantism.  It was at this time that a holiness movement began, later called ‘Methodism’.  It may be said to have first arrived in Bideford by virtue of James Hervey, the curate of the parish church, from about 1740 to 1743.  He had been a student at Oxford at the same time as John and Charles Wesley, and George Whitefield, with whom he had much theology in common, and was brought to saving faith in the years prior to his appointment at Bideford.  He was also an author and hymn-writer, composing such lines as these concerning God’s providence:

“To His unerring gracious will,
Be every wish resigned;
Good when He gives, supremely good,
Nor less when He denies;
E’en crosses from His sovereign hand
Are blessings in disguise.”

George Whitefield was a regular visitor to the town in the mid-1700s, and spoke highly of its spiritual condition in several of his letters, for example: “On Friday [16th March 1750] we went to Bideford, where there is perhaps one of the best little flocks in all England”.  Hervey had left a positive influence on the Anglican church, while the non-conformist assembly established in 1671 was by now a Congregationalist church under one Samuel Lavington (after whom the imposing twin-spired building in Bridgeland Street is named, built in 1859).  It was to this company that John Cennick came and preached in 1744, and amongst whose number that John Kent was born, in 1766 – both composers of hymns, which are sung to the present day. The Wesleys were also active in North Devon, and John Wesley’s journal of 3rd October 1757 records how he first preached in Bideford, on the words of Galatians 6:14.  Methodism, with its gospel preaching and practical teaching, was well received in Bideford, and in 1816 a church of vast proportions was opened in Bridge Street.  A General Baptist church was also formed in 1820, but had rather inauspicious beginnings, being disbanded and re-commenced on two occasions in its early years.

The nineteenth century saw a significant deterioration in the State church.  Possibly in reaction against the evangelical theology of non-conformist denominations, the Church of England witnessed the rise of Erastianism, and then the Tractarian Movement, taking it further towards the errors of Rome.  Later still came the rise in ‘higher criticism’, with its accompanying ‘down-grade’ in biblical standards.  However, just as two centuries earlier the Great Ejection had unforeseen but beneficial consequences, the religious adversities of the 1800s also bore good fruit.  In Exeter, some 50 miles south-east of Bideford, a school-master called William Hake forsook his Anglican upbringing, in search of something more spiritually satisfying.  This was not without the opposition of his older family members.  But he found a kindred spirit in his friend and local dentist, Anthony Norris Groves, whom he also encouraged to leave the Church of England.  These men, together with Groves’ brother-in-law George Müller, became part of a new religious movement.

Whatever the accomplishments and attainments of the Congregationalists, Methodists or Baptists, all were characterised by a degree of denominational sectarianism, and had all developed peculiarities and traditions of their own.  Hake and his companions desired a return to the Scriptures, and the biblical doctrines of the New Testament church, free of the strictures of established denominations.  In consequence of which, they referred to themselves simply as ‘brethren’.  Ironically this very word, designed to be inclusive and non-schismatic, began to be used of them as a title, and, coupled with the town in which their first organised meetings were held in 1830, yielded a name for this new group: The Plymouth Brethren.

Hake’s association with the nascent congregation at Plymouth was a brief one, as in 1839 he, his family, and many pupils of his school relocated to Northam, a village adjacent to Bideford.  Here they had a large house called ‘Tusculum’ on Limers Lane where they lived, taught and worked.  In the absence of any local church to which they could, in good conscience, join themselves, they worshipped at home too.  One of Hake’s sons wrote: “I remember, when I was quite young, his ‘keeping the feast’ on the Lord’s Day morning, with my mother, two or three friends, and the servants who were also in the Lord.  Evidently, as he pondered the death of the Son of God, solemnity, worship, peace, praise, were in his heart”.  But whatever the blessedness of these times of household worship, it would not suffice indefinitely.

Meanwhile, trouble had arisen in the group that met in Plymouth.  Three years of contention and strife resulted in a painful secession in 1848.  A man who found himself without the friendship of either faction was Henry Soltau and his family.  They moved first to Exmouth, but Hake made arrangements for Soltau to work as a tutor in his school, and thus they also relocated to Northam, in 1851.  Possibly encouraged by this addition, and with a growing number of like-minded believers in the area, William Hake, Henry Soltau (and a third character whose identity history has not recorded) sought to establish a church in Bideford, with the stated aim of continuing, “stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).  That their desires were fulfilled is evident: the ‘Post Office Directory of Devon 1856’ notes of Bideford churches that, “the Plymouth Brethren, or New Lights, have a meeting house in New Street”.  For how long services were held in this venue cannot be determined with accuracy, but by about 1858, a more permanent location had been found in North Road.

North Road (or Street as some records call it) was at that time the main route between Bideford, and the adjacent villages of Abbotsham, Northam and Appledore.  It was lined with humble terraced cottages, intersected with entry-ways that led to small yards and industrial buildings behind.  All manner of trades and crafts were plied, out of sight behind the houses: pottery, tanning, and at the rear of Nos 21 and 22, a large three-storey carpenter’s workshop stood.  This had originally been in the ownership of James Inskip, gentleman, of Bristol.  Before the tall Georgian houses were built on The Strand, it would have commanded a view across the tidal salt marshes to the estuary.  The second floor was leased to George Hake (son of William) for the purpose of their meetings.  He was soon the sole tenant, and the 1888 Ordnance Survey map marks the building as “Plymouth Brethren Chapel”.  It was known locally as ‘The Meeting Room’, or ‘The Upper Room’.  A late member of the church, born in 1917, could recall being taken there as a child, and remembered the long wooden staircase that had to be climbed, the bare boards of the floor, and large beams supporting the high pitched roof.

There was early encouragement for the fellowship in about 1857, with the conversion of three of Henry Soltau’s daughters.  They requested believer’s baptism, together with their mother, Lucy (who had not previously been baptised), and the family’s gardener, who evidently came to faith about the same time.  The baptisms were performed by a long-time friend of William Hake’s, Robert Cleaver Chapman of Barnstaple, in the River Torridge.

Difficulties were soon to follow. In 1860, Henry Soltau’s health deteriorated, with a rapid loss of vision, resulting in near total blindness; in consequence of which, the family moved once more, to Exeter.  The same year, William Hake suffered “severe illness … through an overwrought brain”.  His life was despaired of, and he was taken to Malvern for the ‘water cure’.  Both men made a recovery, and both came back to North Devon – Hake in 1863 and Soltau in 1870 – but it was to Barnstaple and Robert Chapman’s company that they returned.  (Soltau died there in 1875, and Hake in 1890, aged 95).

Meanwhile, the fellowship in Bideford was committed to the care of Hake’s sons, principally George (born in 1826).  He continued to teach mathematics at his father’s school, living in an adjacent property (Rock House) with his wife Elizabeth (née Marriott, married in 1850), their only son, George Alfred (born 1860) and various members of the extended family.

There is little recorded of the church’s history at this time, however the congregation evidently grew, as at the turn of the century, they were large enough to consider building a ‘mission chapel’ in the neighbourhood.  A local shipping magnate, then in attendance, seems to have been the prime mover in this venture, and possibly provided the capital.  The end result was the building of the Belvoir or Town Mission in nearby Lime Grove, in the year 1893.  It was further enlarged in 1896.  The exact circumstances are unclear, because a sufficient number of persons remained attending the North Road ‘Meeting Room’ for both places to continue with an independent existence.

George Hake ended his years of pilgrimage and service on 6th April 1916.  A Bible of his is still in the possession of the church.  It was given as a gift to one of the members by his surviving older brother, John Henry.  The inscription reads:

“To my dear brother Wesley in remembrance of my beloved brother.
J. Henry Hake, April 1916”

George Hake’s obituary was published in the North Devon Journal.  It is reproduced in full here, as the list of attendees is likely to correspond in part to the regular congregation of the Chapel:

Thursday 13th April 1916:  FUNERAL AT BIDEFORD.  By the death of Mr. George Hake, which took place at the age of 89 years, Bideford has lost a resident who for upwards of half a century filled a unique and honoured place in the religious life of the district, and one whose passing will be very keenly felt, especially by the poor, among whom he chiefly laboured.  Mr. Hake had spent practically the whole of his long life in Bideford.  His father, Mr. Wm. Hake, better known to the older generation at Barnstaple, came to Bideford from Exeter in 1839 and for many years kept a well-known school at “Tusculum” (now “Wellesborne”) Northam, some of his sons later assisting him in his enterprise.  After his retirement Mr. Wm. Hake went to Barnstaple and lived at New Buildings with the scholarly and saintly Mr. Robert C. Chapman, of international reputation, with whom and the late Mr. Batt, who lived to be a nonagenarian, he was associated in the early days of the meetings of Brethren at that place.  Mr. George Hake conducted the school at “Rock House”, Bideford, in which he had the valuable co-operation of his wife, who died, greatly mourned, ten years ago.  Many Anglo-Indian families have the pleasantest recollections of these establishments.  The deceased retired from the scholastic profession many years ago and had been living up to the time of his death at South View Terrace, Northdown road.  But it is in connection with his quiet religious and philanthropic work that Mr. Hake was best known to the present generation.  For over sixty years he held an honoured place in the local meeting houses of the Brethren, and he literally spent his time doing good.  He had been essentially an “exhorter of men”, and there have been few who have known his work but have admired it, and many were brought under the spell of his gracious personality and the sincerity of his religious fervour.  Latterly old age had been telling even upon his vigorous constitution, and a little over a week ago he was confined to his bed with a cold.  It was hoped rest and nourishment would keep him with his friends some time longer, but a great weakness came on and he passed away on Thursday morning.  He leaves a son, Mr. George A. Hake, of Edinburgh; Mr. Henry Hake, of South View, Bideford, a few years his senior, and now the only surviving of several brothers; and several nephews and nieces.  There have been several examples of longevity in the family, and the late Mr. William Gordon Hake of Brighton, who was England’s oldest barrister, and who lived to be 103, was a first cousin of Bideford’s townsman, Mr. George Hake.  

The funeral took place on Sunday, the chief mourners being Mr. George A. Hake and Mrs. Hake (son and daughter-in-law), and Mr. William Marriott (Norfolk, nephew).  Others attending included Messrs. T. A. Pearce, G. M. Pitt, Schomann, G. Fisher, and Mrs. Deubler (Barnstaple), Messrs. Gayton (Instow), Stacey (Appledore), G. W. J. Rattenbury, W. H. Clements, J. Prouse, F. Babb, H. Guard, W. T. Braddick, Copp, W. W. Sing, J. Lyle, Giddy, W. Holloway, S. Cox, R. Yeo, W. Cox, H. J. Harding, W. Palmer, J. J. Kinsman, W. D. K Wickham, S. Prance, Williams, J. Whitefield, F. E. Routley, M. Wadey, P. Mounce, H. Baglow, R. R. Deubler, Fursey, J. Redcliffe, the Misses Wren (Burrough), Nurse Arnold and a large number of ladies.  Messrs Cann (Northam), Green (Westward Ho), S. Copp, Wesley, Holmes, C. J. Farmer and W. Hunt acted as bearers.  The funeral service was conducted by Mr G. T. D. Wheeler.  The hymn “For ever with the Lord” was sung, after which, Mr. Wheeler gave an impressive address.

The church had been meeting in its rented room for nearly 70 years, when, in 1927 the building came up for sale, together with several of surrounding houses and cottages.  After considering some other potential properties in Bideford, the existing venue was deemed the most appropriate, and a Trust was formed to take ownership of it.  The trustees appointed were as follows:

Robert Reginald Deubler, High Street, Bideford – Bookseller
Roy Albert Frayne, High Street, Bideford – Pork Butcher
Charlie Nethercott, Breezy Nook, Northam – Grocer’s Assistant
Leslie Maclaren Wheeler, Croft Poultry Farm – Farmer
Gustavus Jeffery Davies Wheeler, Clovelly Rd, Bideford – Retired
William Hollister, Chanters Lane, Bideford – Accountant
Charles Thomas Wesley, Chanters Lane, Bideford – Railway Clerk
John Lee, Wimbourne Terrace, Bideford – Painter
Fred Richards, Fort Street, Barnstaple – Cabinet Maker

A mortgage was secured, and the building purchased for £320.  Works were put in hand to remove the intermediate floors, divide the area into a large hall with side rooms, provide a gallery, and generally reorganise the structure into a place of worship.  These alterations cost a further £800 and were completed during 1931.  Despite the austerity of the war years, in the goodness of God, the debts on the property were paid off by December 1945.  An indoor baptistery was installed in August 1947, being used for the first time on 7th December that year when Ruth Nethercott and Kenneth Smale were baptised.

In addition to the secular affairs of the church premises, a Trust Deed was also drawn up in 1928.  This included a simple Statement of Faith, expressing certain fundamental doctrines held by the church, including:

  • The inspiration and sufficiency of the Scriptures
  • The doctrine of the Holy Trinity
  • The deity and virgin birth of Christ
  • The substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross and full atonement for sin thereby, as confirmed by His resurrection
  • Justification by faith (nevertheless that believers are to be careful to maintain good works)
  • The necessity of regeneration by reason of the total depravity of man
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit
  • The Second Coming of the Lord
  • The eternal salvation of the redeemed
  • The eternal punishment of unbelievers
  • Baptism by immersion of believers
  • The regular observance of the Lord’s Table

Which things are preached, and ‘most surely believed’ among the members of the church today.

In 1931 Mr C. Nethercott took on primary responsibility for the assembly, being the secretary, and preaching regularly; which office he fulfilled for 40 years.

In 1936 a member of the congregation – Henry Theodore Deubler – was sent out as a missionary to Central Africa and Northern Rhodesia.  Funds were raised for his support, and a service to mark his departure was held on 27th March 1936.  Being a qualified and practicing dentist, he faithfully applied those skills at the Chitokoloki Mission Hospital (which marked its centenary in August 2014) and throughout the North Western Province of Zambia.  He and his wife made return deputation visits on several occasions over the following decades.

Throughout the next 50 years of the church’s existence, the pulpit was supplied by a variety of visiting preachers.  These included several brethren from within the assembly, as well as many regular itinerant preachers from the county of Devon.  A few other, more widely-recognised names also make single appearances in the church notice books of the period, including evangelists ‘Gipsy’ Ezekiel Smith and W. Norris (Cardiff), R. Boyd-Cooper (Bath), and W. E. Vine (well known for his “Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words”, published 1940).

A frequent visitor in the war years was Mr W. H. Molland, then at Puddington in mid-Devon.  In October 1944, newly married, he and his wife moved to Bideford, on account of taking tenancy at nearby Cockington Farm.  They joined the church, and became heavily involved, with Mr Molland’s preaching gifts being well employed both at home and in the local area.  On an occasion in 1969, he preached for three successive weeks on the subject of The Resurrection.  It was one of the first times that a consecutive, expository ministry had been heard in the North Road pulpit, and was greatly appreciated by the congregation.  Such was the appetite for preaching of this nature, that Mr Molland was requested to take further extended subjects – firstly at the Lord’s Day morning service, and then at the Thursday evening Bible studies too.  By the end of the 1970s, visiting preachers had become the exception rather than the rule, and in 1980, the church formally recognised Mr Molland as its appointed minister.  

Thus some five decades after the initial writing of the Trust Deed, there was a recovery of the vital truth that it had enshrined, particularly the ‘Doctrines of Grace’, such as Total Depravity, Substitutionary Atonement, Regeneration by the Spirit, the Perseverance of the Saints, and Justification by Faith.  These essential subjects, evidently of great importance to the original Trustees, but sadly neglected over the passage of time, were placed back at the centre of the church’s constitution and ministry.

The year 1971 was a significant one in the life of the church, for four reasons.  Firstly, on account of advancing years, Mr Nethercott handed over the duties of secretary to Mr Molland:

“After over 40 years as correspondent in the assembly, Mr Nethercott has felt that the time has come for him to retire from this work.  Over this long period of time our brother has seen many changes.  There have been times of encouragement and times of disappointment, seasons of blessing and seasons of dearth, but whatever the circumstances he has laboured on with a zeal and steadfastness which should be an example to all of us who follow after.

Whilst we know that his labour has ever and always been carried out with a single eye to God’s glory, nevertheless, we as a Church owe him a debt of gratitude for the efficiency (sic) and untiring way in which he has discharged his duty, and have great pleasure in paying this tribute.  Although retiring from the secretarial work, he will, of course, continue to serve … We pray that God will spare him to us for many years.”

(He remained a very active member of the fellowship until his home-call in June 1980, at the age of 87).

The foregoing quotation is taken from the very first edition of “The Link” magazine, which also came into being in April 1971.  Originally devised as a newsletter for the benefit of house-bound church members, and consisting primarily of information for and about the congregation, it also included an article of a spiritual nature, for the edification of the readers.  The number of recipients progressively increased, well beyond its original purview, and the emphasis changed toward a more doctrinal and devotional content.  Without any advertising or publicising on the part of the church, the circulation grew to a worldwide scale, with 1,200 copies per quarter being printed at its peak.  At the time of writing (2016) it continues to be sent, free of charge, to a mailing list of approximately 600 addresses, and remains one of the principal ministries of the church.

Thirdly, the same year marked the commencement of Open-Air services in the town of Bideford.  Rather than adopt the haranguing and perorational style typical of much outdoor and street preaching, the church’s object was simply to hold its service in a public venue, where passers-by could easily participate.  A ‘Drive-in Church’ format was developed, in the Riverbank car park on Bideford Quay.  Services were held there on Sunday evenings, for about eight weeks from July to September, coinciding with the main holiday season.  The following description was given, in a report in the Bideford & North Devon Gazette, of Friday 27th July 1984:

Visit Bideford’s Drive-in Church.  Every summer Bideford’s North Road Chapel organise what is possibly the only drive-in church in the country.  The chapel have been operating their drive-in church every summer since 1971.  They have a specially built unit, and on Sunday evenings they take it down to the Pill.  Their unit has a pulpit and electronic organ and amplifier.  The minister, Mr Molland, and other church helpers hold a short service from about 6.30 pm until 7.30 pm.  They play hymns and distribute hymn books to people parked on the Pill so they can join in as well if they want to.  Mr Molland said: “The general idea is not to conduct an open air meeting, or create a soap-box image, but to carry the atmosphere and reverence of a church service outdoors.”  He says the services are very popular and some members of the congregation travel from as far away as North Cornwall and Okehampton.  While the drive-in church is being run during the eight or nine weeks in the summer there is not an evening service at the North Road Chapel.  

Mr Molland believes it is not only people on the Pill who appreciate the hymns and service, but others nearby.  This summer’s services began three weeks ago and already quite a few people are turning up.  Mr Molland said: “People can come and sit in the seclusion of their cars.  Some people sit on the seats down the river bank.  We invite the public to join with us in hymn singing and if they want a hymn book they can indicate to the stewards.  But we make a point of having hymns that are fairly familiar.  It is not a Hyde Park Corner sort of thing at all.  Just a church service held out of doors.”

These services continued until 1991.  At that time, with hardening public attitudes, tightening legislation, and a change in focus of the church’s ministry, this particular witness came to an end.  Although no evident fruit was borne from the 20 years of open-air testimony, many local people and returning holiday-makers remember the services, and the reverent and sincere nature of their conduct.

The audio recording of regular ministry at the Chapel was the fourth work to commence in 1971.  With the greater availability of cassette players at the time, sermons began to be recorded, and made available to those who could not attend the meetings, and then more widely to other interested parties.  Somewhat ahead of its time, a ‘library loan’ system was set up, and soon established itself as a feature of North Road’s ministry.  It was very popular in the pre-internet era, being utilised by many listeners, worldwide.  It has also left the church with a ‘godly heritage’ of sermons, including over 1,700 preached by Mr Molland, plus hundreds by visiting speakers and other members of its congregation.

During the 1980s when many modern-language versions began to be popularised, the church maintained a principled stand for the Authorised Version of the English Bible – on account of its ‘formal equivalence’ translation method, its basis in the Received Text, and its grammatical distinction between singular and plural pronouns (in keeping with the original Scriptures).  This much-maligned and increasingly rare position has been amply vindicated by the passage of time.  Many of the versions that used ‘New’ in their titles forty years ago, have since been superseded by a succession of more-defective editions.  In the mercy of God, a ‘holding fast the form of sound words’ (cf 2 Timothy 1:13) at North Road also helped preserve its theology, church order and form of worship through these decades of change and religious declension.

In 1986, the church published its first item of Christian literature, a book entitled: “Salvation – the Gift of God or the Choice of Man?” addressing the vital matters of Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility in relation to saving faith.  It was made available free of charge, and has been reprinted numerous times since.  It proved to be the first of about thirty published titles, written by Mr Molland and various other authors, generally on neglected aspects of doctrine and practice.  With the co-operation and dedicated labours of the late Charles H. Shofstahl of Pilgrim Brethren Press, Ohio, the church was also involved in the 1998 reprint of the book “Original Christian Baptism” by Johannes Warns.  The production of literature continues at North Road to the present day.

In the purposes of God, Mr Molland’s 61 years of preaching in Bideford were brought to a close in 2005 through failing health.  However, he continued to serve as an Elder, maintaining a prayerful interest in all the work of the Church, and ministering to many by means of regular phonecalls, even after becoming house-bound.  He was present at the Chapel for the last time on 17th October 2012, the occasion of his dear wife’s funeral.  The very next day, there was ‘ministered unto him abundantly an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’, and he died at the age of 92.  The church owes an immeasurable debt of thankfulness to the Lord for the labours of His servant among them over six decades.

Mr R. J. Steward first preached at North Road in December 2000, and relocated to the town two years later, joining the church at that time.  He was appointed an Elder and Assistant Minister in October 2004.  The following year, Mr Molland’s incapacity necessitated a complete transfer of responsibilities to Mr Steward, who was formally recognised as the church’s minister in a service on 21st May 2006.

To reflect with spiritual hindsight upon these 160 years of history is a Biblically-commended activity: “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee…”  The whole course of a Christian’s life, or a local church’s existence, is an exercise in humility, obedience, faith, adherence to the Word, and dependence on the Lord (cf Deuteronomy 8:2-3).  And regarding the years ahead, the hymn-writer appositely says:

“Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.”

References and Bibliography

Watkins, J. An Essay Towards a History of Bideford in the County of Devon (1792)
Chapman, R. C. Seventy Years of Pilgrimage: Being a Memorial of William Hake (1892)
Tyerman, L. The Life of George Whitefield (1876)
Neatby, W. B. A History of the Plymouth Brethren (1901)
Bennett, W. H. Robert Cleaver Chapman of Barnstaple (1902)
Lang, G. H. Anthony Norris Groves (1949)
Lang, G. H. God at Work on His Own Lines (1952)
Hayman, J. G. A History of the Methodist Revival of the Last Century in its Relation to North Devon (1885)
Thompson, D. A Book of Remembrance, or a Short History of the Baptist Churches of North Devon (1885)
Holmes, F. Brother Indeed (1959)
Soltau, H. W. “They Found It Written” (1863)
Stunt, T. C. F. The Elusive Quest of the Spiritual Malcontent (2015)

The Link Magazine (various editions 1971 – present)
Minutes of the Trustees (1927 – present)
Church Meeting Minute Book (1955 – present)

Legal and historical documents relating to North Road Chapel
The personal recollections of Mr and Mrs W. H. Molland

With special thanks to:
Peter Christie for additional historical materials and researches.
David Wilkin for information relating to Chitokoloki and the Deublers.