John Storer was born on the 26th September 1810 to George and Hannah Storer. He was baptised on the 14th October 1810 in the Wesleyan faith, (Cromford Circuit) but the age of thirteen he lost his sight through a gunpowder explosion.
For many years he lived at Town Gate Farm, Alderwasley with his parents but in 1956 he returned to live on Chapel Row in Crich. The following year, in 1857, he married Mary Wallace; she was a Londoner who had a daughter Emma Wallace (born in 1854).
John Storer, although blind, became a reknown preacher at the Wesleyan Chapel in Crich dedicating his life the the Wesleyan cause.
His wife, Mary, died 24th September 1884 aged seventy-two and John died, aged eighty, on 15th June 1891. Both were buried in Crich churchyard.
|Derby Mercury: Wed 23 October 1877
A temperance meeting was held in the new Infants schoolroom in the “Carr” on Thursday evening last. The meeting was addressed by the vicar, and the Rev. Mr Smith, lately curate at Matlock Bath, gave a reading.
The Wesleyan Methodists held a missionary meeting in their chapel on the evening of the 23rd. The attendance was very small. The Rev. Drummond, one of the circuit ministers, and Mr Selvey, a Wesleyan student, at present allocated at Belper, addressed the meeting. The chairman was Mr John Storer, a local preacher of the place.
The rather imposing building now in course of erection by the Baptists seemed to have received an increased fillip towards completion lately. We notice a popular lecture announced to be delivered this week in aid of the building fund, the lecturer being the Rev. W. Jamieson, of Riddings.
The even more ecclesiastical looking building now in course of erection in the “Carr” under the auspices of the Primitive Methodists, is being pushed on with spirit.
There was an entry for him in Bulmer's Directory of 1895 –
"... The Wesleyan Methodists have a Chapel at Crich Common. There is no record of its erection, but the Rev. John Wesley is said to have preached in it. On the wall over the pulpit is a marble monument to John Storer, who died in 1891, at the age of 80. At the age of 13 he lost his sight through and explosion of gunpowder. His father was a class leader in connection with the Primitive Methodists; but John, when 26 year old, left the Primitives and joined the Wesleyan Methodists, of which body he afterwards became a preacher. For some years he resided at Alderwasley, but in 1856 he returned to his native village, and in the pulpit beneath his monument he poured forth his exhortations in rough but soul-stirring eloquence."
He was also referred to in an article in the Methodist Recorder December 28th 1905 –
"There was living at this time, at Alderwasley, near Crich, a saintly man named John Storer. He was then forty years old. He had been blind for 27 years. Converted at the ago of sixteen, in the dear old Crich Chapel, he instantly gave himself unreservedly to the work of God. When he saw how great was the need of the cause in the trying period which followed the Reform Agitation, he went there every Sunday evening for a whole year, and preached, and prayed, and exhorted the people to stand firm. It was a priceless service. In 1857 the chapel was renovated at considerable cost. This involved a debt of £170, but thirteen years later the whole was paid off by donations which Mr. Storer collected from friends far and near.
Mr. Storer died in 1891, He had been blind 67 years, but the eyes of his understanding were always open, and for 65 years he preached concerning the things which he had seen, and many were converted through the word of grace which he preached unto them. "
John Storer's memorial, seen below, is inside the Wesleyan Chapel but sited above the new lowered ceiling.
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