The Methodist chapel was built as Providence Church in 1837 at Darby Hand in Netherton, Dudley.
The tiny settlement of Darby Hand grew up in the late eighteenth century as a coal mining and nail making community at the side of the Dudley Canal.
It was affiliated to the Methodist New Connexion which broke away from the main Methodist body in 1797 and was very strong in the area.
Providence Church played a central part in the life of the community for one hundred and forty years. It was not only a centre for Christian belief and practise, with a strong tradition of choral singing, it functioned as a social centre for the community with evening events and ‘pleasure days’ with a picnic or walk in the woods.
Most importantly it provided education and welfare with Sunday School and adult classes on Sunday mornings and the Darby Hand Doctor’s Club ensured medical assistance to poor members of the congregation.
Now known as Darby Hand Chapel, services are arranged by the Friends of the Museum throughout the year and include a Sunday School Anniversary and Harvest Festival, helping to recreate an important aspect of Black Country life.