Pavenham Primitive Methodist Chapel


Pavenham is small limestone village situated on the River Great Ouse and known for rush making. 

In 1842, Pavenham was noted as a Primitive Methodist preaching place. 10 years later, John Symonds Gostling of Gwyn Street, Bedford, upholsterer registered a building for worship on 8 October. A second registration for Worship was made on 25 March 1859 by Joseph Hulatt of Pavenham, baker. The Chapel stood in the High Street next to ‘The Retreat’. Hulatt was Senior Society Steward in 1884. 

However, the PM cause in Pavenham does not appear to have prospered. Consequently, the Bedford Primitive Methodist Quarterly Meeting on 2 December 1884 resolved ‘That this meeting after very careful consideration advises the selling of our Pavenham Chapel and that Mr Pilling see Mr Alexander and Mr Hulatt of Pavenham respecting the sale of the chapel.’ The next Quarterly Meeting gave Rev Jacob Pilling ‘full power to sell Pavenham Chapel and that he get as much for it as possible.’ The September meeting agreed to advertise the sale of the chapel in the ‘Mercury and Standard Papers’. Services were planned in Pavenham in the January to March 1885 quarter, but in October to December Plan 1885, Pavenham is listed, but with no preachers appointed. The 1859 Registration for Worship was not however cancelled until 8 May 1895. 

After sale, the Pavenham Chapel eventually became the garage of ‘The Retreat’, but has now been converted into a house. 

References and Sources 

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

Pavenham, The Lifestory of a village by Rachel Marchbank 

Hassett Street Methodist Church Bedford Centenary Souvenir 1938

Bedford Primitive Methodist Quarterly Meeting Minute book 1883-1897

Bedford PM Quarterly Circuit Plans

Comments about this page

  • It took them two years to open the chapel (on March 13th 1860) as the person who made the land for the chapel available wanted to keep ownership of it, but in time the land was transferred to the Primitive Methodist Connexion. The chapel cost £206 of which only £86 had been raised at the time of opening.

    In the opening events, tea was provided gratuitously by Mr. Joseph Hulatt. Preachers at the opening were Rev. H. Killen (Baptist), S.Brock,, John Deighton (Bedford), John Mason (Walaoken nr Wisbeach), Rev. W. Rowe (Stevington),  J. Mason, W. Bartlett (Bedford), JS Gostling, Rev Silverton (Carlton).

    John Moore described the opening and the chapel in the Primitive Methodist magazine of November 1860 (page 688-689).

    By Christopher Hill (10/02/2018)
  • The foundation stone for the new chapel was laid on Tuesday December 7th 1858. The company “sang down the village to the spot” although the weather was bad. The preacher was Rev W Rowe (Baptist). 

    Thomas Wheatley, local preacher, gave £10 and Mr Joseph and Mrs Hulatt provided an excellent tea. Miss Buck preached.

    In the weeks prior to the ceremony, a new class of nine members had been started and 6 or 8 had rejoined an old class.

    John Moore describes the occasion in the Primitive Methodist magazine for March 1859 (page 172)

    By Christopher Hill (18/09/2017)

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