Toddington Primitive Methodist Chapel


Toddington is situated on the A5120 close to the M1.

The 1851 Ecclesiastical Census includes a return for a Primitive Methodist congregation at Toddington, meeting in a building erected in 1846 in Duck Lane (later renamed Gase Street, now Conger Lane). There were 117 Free Sittings, 93 Other and 28 Standing.

Attendances recorded by Samuel Wells, Steward were:

General   CongregationSunday   ScholarsTotal

Toddington was originally part of the Luton PM Circuit before becoming part of Dunstable when that Circuit was formed in 1866. Registration for worship was made by Samuel Wells of Toddington (trustee)on 1 April 1854.

The Bedfordshire Times and Independent, 26 July 1870 reported that on 17 July, Rev WH Allen had ‘preached three excellent sermons…The services were meant for a special effort and much it was needed for the commodious chapel was well attended on each occasion, and the collections at the close of each service must have consequently been handsome.’

A new PM chapel was built in Leighton Road in 1893. The former chapel became storage for the Toddington Gas Works, then a Guide Hall and is now a theatre.

The Bedfordshire Times reported on 25 January 1924, that the chapel had been re-opened following renovation. A new American organ was also installed to replace the harmonium.

After Methodist Union, the chapel was re-named Leighton Road Methodist church. The church closed on 4 October 1953.

Sources and References

The Ecclesiastical Census, Bedfordshire, March 1851 Volume 54 Bedfordshire Historical Record Society – Edited by DW Bushby

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

Bedfordshire Times and Independent: 26 July 1870; 25 January 1924

Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle: 15 October 1953

TADS Theatre Group website

Comments about this page

  • Two accounts in the Primitive Methodist magazine tell of Toddington chapel opening on October 11th 1846 and only 3 years later its re-opening on 18th November 1849 after the addition of a gallery to accommodate increasing congregations. Preachers included Mr Hobson of Bath (former superintendent) and Mr Barton. The same Mr Hobson wrote the 1846 piece. Mr Adams donated £5 14s towards the cost of £20/16/6.

    Sources – Primitive Methodist magazine December 1846 pages 752-753 and February 1850 page 118-119.

    By Christopher Hill (23/05/2021)

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