Allonby Congregational Chapel: Closed Doors

Upon the frontage of Allonby Congregational Chapel (Cumbria) is a Bible text, such as nineteenth-century nonconformists were wont to erect. It quotes Hebrews 10:25:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Above it is the date of construction: 1844.

A rather fine text for any church one might think. There is only one problem: Allonby Congregational Chapel is now a private house, the church having closed in 1975. This makes the old text somewhat ironic. The ‘manner of some’ became the manner of this chapel. ‘The Day’ is now closer than ever and yet the Congregationalists of Allonby stopped meeting or withered away. There is only one thing sadder than this, and that is Christian in a given district not attending a church, forsaking the assembly, neither being exhorted, not exhorting others. The coming of the Lord draws nigh, and many church doors, and many Christians’ doors, shall remain shut this coming Lord’s Day.