United Brethren has retired.

Gadfield Elm

After converting the Benbows, Woodruff's work had only just begun. The Benbows were members of the United Brethren, a group of Primitive Methodists who had organised themselves in the local area. Once introduced to the Brethren, Woodruff set about teaching them the Gospel. The mass conversion of the United Brethren is well known, but Woodruff's success was more than in just numbers: the UB provided the infrastructure of a religious organisation, so that even when the American missionaries left, a strong and well-organised preaching circuit remained.

The United Brethren donated one of their chapels to the Church, that of Gadfield Elm. For years it lay derelict, but was recently restored and returned to the Church. Today a missionary couple - Elder and Sister Mitchell (pictured) - conduct tours around the chapel. I grew up 10 miles from Gadfield Elm, and visited again this summer. As a Mormon shrine it holds its own with better-known US sites.
"This people universally felt willing to hear a matter before they condemned it, they opened their doors for me to preach, and searched the scripture daily to see if the things which I taught were true, and on finding that the word and spirit agreed and bore record of the truth of the fullness of the everlasting gospel, they embraced it with all their hearts, which has brought great joy to many souls in that region."
- Wilford Woodruff

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Anonymous Anonymous said ... (August 16, 2005 12:08 AM) 

I think that there is a good case to be made that were it not for these congregants (and others in the British isles), the Church would have crumbled. Thanks for the write up and excellent pictures. 

Posted by J. Stapley


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (August 16, 2005 1:50 AM) 

It was because of Wilford Woodruff that my missionary experience in England was so difficult. The believing blood, the best of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland joined the church and moved to Zion in the 1800s.

It took a long time for the church to regain any strength again in England.

I have been grateful that there were so many faithful members who immigrated. Just think what difference it would have made if they had remained in England.

England would have been the Utah of Europe, and we probably would be watching general conference from Hyde Park.

Thank you, you great English saints. J. Stapley is right! 

Posted by DON


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (August 16, 2005 10:16 AM) 

GC in Hyde Park? Cool! 

Posted by Ronan


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (August 17, 2005 9:18 AM) 

I speculate that there was a unique concentration of the blood of Israel in that locality, perhaps a wayward branch of one of the tribes made its way there. Let me tell you, the people in my mission, elsewhere in Europa, were not exactly quite that receptive.


Posted by rob


Blogger andre said ... (May 14, 2006 4:37 PM) 

hello im a member of the church of jesus christ 'mormon' and in the 13/may/2006 watford ward went to gadfield elm church to camping i was there it was great fun. on the next day we went to the chapel, we met elder mitchel and sister mitchel. they shared with was the story of that church. we had a couple of activities and one of them we heared the voice of wilford woodruff for me was special i thank my ward and my leaders for the time we spend on gadfield elm church.


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