Kempston, Beds

The first Primitive Methodist chapel in Kempston opened in 1854, St John’s Street.  The building was sold in 1898, and replaced by a new chapel in Bedford Road, which closed in 1958.

A community archive hosted by Bedford Borough Council has published photos and information about these chapels.

Additional information (February 2017 CH):

The Primitive Methodist magazine of November 1852 contains an account by William Cooper of the opening of Kempston Primitive Methodist chapel in the Bedford mission.

Kempston at the time was a large village, of around 1,500 people, about two miles from Bedford. The Primitive Methodists had a small society for several years, but frequently had nowhere to preach but the open air until they opened their new chapel in September 1852.  Measuring 21 feet 9 inches by 27 feet outside and 13 feet from the floor to the ceiling, built of brick and roofed with slate, it seated about 150 people with room for expansion.

The total cost was about £133, towards which £7/16/4 was raised at the opening and £25/17/- by books. The chapel was opened for Divine worship on September 9th, 12th, and 26th, 1852, when sermons were preached by the Rev. W. Rowe, Baptist minister; J. Prior, Wesleyan local preacher; J. S. Brown, from Newport Pagnell, R. W. Monkman and W. Cooper. On Monday, the 13th there was a tea-meeting.

Particular thanks were due “to H. Stuart, Esq, M.P., for a donation of £5; to Messrs. Sherman and Turnley, for making the title-deeds and mortgage-deeds without charge, excepting stamps and parchments; to Mr. Wells, for cushion for the pulpit; and to all who have assisted us in any way.”

Comments about this page

  • Bedfordshire Archives & Record Office:

    Ref. Z 50/67/106: Collection of photographs, to include one of a Parade on Bedford Road by the Kempston Primitive Methodist Band of Hope with their Banner, the Kempston Town Band at their head, c.1905.

    By Raymond E.O.Ella (28/05/2018)

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