Christopher George Squirrell and Warwick Street Methodist Chapel

Warwick Street Methodist Chapel.
Warwickshire County Record Office reference PH84/143

Christopher George Squirrell was born in Ipswich around 1844, where he followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a watchmaker.

He had however, been preaching since he was 16 and at the end of 1871 he became the pastor at the Stretton Under Fosse Congregational Chapel. This chapel is recorded as being the second oldest non-conformist chapel in Warwickshire. The Rev. Squirrell remained at Stretton until he retired some 39 years later.

During his time at Stretton he was a regular visitor to Leamington. So it is perhaps no real surprise that although he moved to Worthing after his retirement he ended up in Leamington, especially as two of his daughters were living here. This was just before the end of the First World War. So it was at Warneford House that he and his wife Esther Annie celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on 9th June 1922, where he lived from just before the end of the First World War until he moved just down the road to Forfield House in 1927.

Revival of the Warwick Street chapel

Although retired when he moved to Leamington, he became the temporary pastor at the Warwick Street Methodist Chapel. He is credited with the revival of the chapel, which used to stand between Kenilworth Street and Clarendon Street. It was demolished in the 1970s.

For over 30 years the Rev. Squirrell was connected with the Poor Law Unions in Lutterworth and Worthing. He was one of the founders of the Association of Poor Law Unions of England and Wales, serving on its council for over 20 years.

He died at Forfield House, Forfield Place, on 26th January 1929 and was buried with his wife at Brunswick Street cemetery after a funeral service at the Spencer Street, Congregational Chapel.

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