During the early part of the nineteenth century Ivybridge found it difficult to appoint a chaplain and at times St. Johns Church was without anyone at all, largely due to very low remuneration. Worshippers were giving up paying the rent for their pews and this was money which the procurement of a chaplain depended upon. Local people were complaining that this was causing many to drift away to the Wesleyan movement. A local schoolteacher, Miss Powell, who lived in Fore Street where she provided a small school, also complained that there was nowhere for her children to attend Sunday School.
During this difficult time the Wesleyans in Ivybridge established their own chapel on a piece of ground in the village close to Miss Powell’s house. Sir John Rogers, Lord of the Manor, had provided the plot of land in 1812 for the building of the Methodist meeting house or chapel. This original site is now called Chapel Place. The Methodist Chapel was registered on 13 January 1813 with the Bishop of Exeter. The building seated 120 people at a time when the population of Ivybridge was about 1,000 in total.