Methodist Chapel

Monyash had a very active Methodist society from early in the 18th century, and there are records of letters from John Wesley to the society at this time. This early society died out and it was left to a Primitive Methodist missionary, Phillip Bown, to evangelise the village in 1828. An early convert was Joshua Millington, and he became active in the construction of the Chapel in 1835. This was enlarged to form the present building on Chapel Street in 1888. This beautiful stone building replaced a tin hut which had been used by Methodist worshippers for much of the previous century.

Methodist Chapel

Photograph by Shirley Johnston

One of Joshua Millington’s descendents has unearthed an article about Joshua from an edition of The Primitive Methodist dated 26th March 1885. The newspaper was published from 1883 to 1908. Elsewhere in that edition, there’s a poem called “Monyash A Hundred Years Ago”, giving us a picture of the village in the late 18th Century.
From this generous contributor we learn that Joshua is a very old Millington Christian name. John Hibbert, the Methodist Sunday School teacher in the 1950s, said that Joshua from this article named his son Joshua Caleb after the two soldiers/spies, as in biblical text…

Joshua and Caleb

So when the spies entered this area, instead of breaking through spiritually
and remembering that God promised them the land (of Canaan — Numbers 13:2),
they came under the existing demonic strongholds. All but two of the spies, Joshua
and Caleb, became completely intimidated by the giants’ huge stature. So when they
returned home, ten of the spies gave a very convincing bad report (Numbers 13:25-33).
So all the people rebelled and wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:1-10).
Woe! Unfortunately, ten of the spies forgot how big God is and so they became deceived
and believed that they could not overcome the enemy. WRONG!
The enemy won that particular battle without laying one finger on the
emerging nation of Israel. Talk about a battle for their minds!

The ten spies were judged by God and died immediately from a plague (Numbers 14:37).
And the whole generation that listened and believed the bad report ended up
dying in their unbelief as they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. It’s also
interesting to see that their children lived to inherit the Promised Land and did
not get into unbelief like their parents, but they suffered for their parents’
unfaithfulness (Numbers 14:31-33).

Then Caleb, 85 years old and as strong as an ox (Joshua 14:11),
went to battle against the giants a generation later after receiving Hebron
as his inheritance (Joshua 14:12-14). Years later, David, a mere lad,
prevailed against the giant Goliath and literally cut off his head (I Samuel 17:49-51).
Hebron was the place where David was anointed king over Israel (II Samuel 5:3).

You can see scanned versions of the article (in two pages) and the poem by following these links:
Poem – “Monyash a Hundred Years Ago”
Joshua Millington article – page 1
Joshua Millington article – page 2