The Methodist Church had commenced its activities officially in the Wakefield area by the Winter of 1872.
During the early years of the Nelson Settlement the Revs. Ironside, Aldred and Warren spent one Sunday in Nelson City and the other in what was then called "the Country Villages of the Waimeas." They were ably supported by a band of local preachers who cheerfully undertook long journeys to proclaim to their fellow settlers the Word of Life. In 1857 the growing importance of the district led to the appointment of the Rev. W. J. Watkin as second minister, his residence being at Richmond. For twenty four years after, he and his successors Revs. Moorhouse, Wall is, Bunn, Vickers, Taylor, Cannell, Keall, Marten, Reeve and Rowse had pastoral charge of that side of the Circuit. In 1881 eight of these places, Richmond, Spring Grove, Upper Wakefield, Stoke, Hope, Foxhill, Brightwater and Dovedale, with a membership of 86 were constituted a new Circuit, known as Richmond.