Gospel Car 'No. 11 Ebenezer' (replica) at Black Country Living Museum

Dudley, West Midlands



0121 557 9643


Opening Times

Wednesday - Sunday 10:00 - 16:00. See website for admission charges.

BCLM Gospel Car
gospel car 2

The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists and Church Army all used 'Gospel cars' in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Within Methodism, horsedrawn wagons were partly replaced by hand-pushed 'trek carts' in the inter-war years, and finally by deaconess' caravans in the 1950s.

Gospel Cars were used for ministry in markets, fairgrounds, at overnight moorings for barge and boat people, and to traveller camps, and to reach rural locations.

This faithful reproduction of Car No 11 was built in 2011, and is currently housed on the Boat Dock at the Black Country Living Museum. This serves to link it within the museum campus with one of the historically marginalized groups - the boat and barge people - to whom the Gospel Car missioners were reaching out. The inside of the Gospel Car can be viewed from the front platform even when no-one is specifically on duty, so visitors can see for themselves how the Gospel Car operated. It was a little home on wheels - what are seats during the day were beds at night. It was a little church on wheels - the bigger audience would be addressed from the platform while the smaller audience would be invited inside. It was a little audio-visual centre - see the organ and the pictures hanging from the all. What you may not see, because they are stored out of sight, are the gramophone, the percussion band instruments and the magic lantern. It sounds wonderful, but with walls of just a single plank thick it would certainly be very very cold on many a winter night.