Heath and Reach Primitive Methodist Chapel


Heath and Reach is situated on the greensand ridge between Watling Street and Leighton Buzzard. 

‘A building, the property of Mr Belgrave, in occ. Of James Northwood in Reach’ was registered for worship on 19 May 1862 by Samuel Turner of Aylesbury (Bucks), minister. A chapel given the name Ebenezer was then erected in Woburn Road which was registered for worship on 27 April 1864 by William Birks of Leighton Buzzard, minister. The registration on Mr Belgrave’s property was then cancelled on 31 December 1866. The new chapel building had a formal classical façade and rough greensand walls behind. 

The Luton Times and Advertiser 30 September 1898 recorded the large congregations and that the chapel was ‘neatly decorated’ for its Harvest thanksgiving services. The same publication reported on 9 January 1903 the chapel was to be sold, the explanation being that “the population of the village has fallen below the church accommodation.” The chapel was sold to the Vicar, Rev W Richards. After alterations being carried out the former chapel became a public hall, until it was resold by Rev Richards’ executors in 1916. 

The registration for worship cancelled on 23 March 1906. 

Sources and References

Bedfordshire Chapels and Meeting Houses: Official Registration 1672-1901 Volume 75 Bedfordshire Historical Record Society – Edited by Edwin Welch

Luton Times and Advertiser :30 September 1898; 9 January 1903; 1 May 1903; 5 May 1916

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Record Service – Community Archives website

Comments about this page

  • A report in Leighton Buzzard Observer and Linslade Gazette 29 September 1863 notes that the opening services in Ebenezer PM Chapel were brought to a close on 20 & 21 September 1863. At the evening service on the 20th, Rev WK Rowe preached to a congregation estimated at over 600 people. The offering at the opening services totalled £99 8s 8d. The newspaper observed that ‘When it is recollected that the society is composed exclusively of the labouring classes and of recent establishment, their success is the more striking.’

    By Tim Banks (03/05/2015)

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