Nether Heyford has a Baptist Chapel by the Village Green, next door to the village hall. It also has adjoining Schoolroom which are used for coffee mornings and other community events. Everyone is welcome to any of the services.
Welcome to our Chapel as we celebrate 220 years of its existence. In 1799, a small group of Heyford people first met together regularly for worship in a building belonging to Mr Richard Adams and before that time they attended Castle Hill Chapel in Northampton. Later it seems in 1805, when a Baptist Chapel opened at Bugbrooke the Heyford folks walked or rode on horseback to attend services there.
In 1826 however in an era of industrial development in the village between the opening of the canal(1790’s) and the construction of the railway (1830’s) Baptists were able to establish a presence in Heyford and opened the Chapel here although the link with Bugbrooke remained and the Minister there had charge of both Chapels.
By 1839 there were 76 adults in membership. There were also 24 children and therefore a Sunday school was started. The growth continued and when the Jubilee was celebrated in 1876 over 120 children assembled for a hot dinner in Bliss School. Games were organised for the children in Mr Adam’s Orchard at the rear of the School and later an open air service was held on the Green.
In 1922 Mr Oliver Adams was instrumental in the building of the Schoolroom. The Cost was £838 whereas the Chapel in 1826 had cost £178.
Partly with the benefit of a legacy from Mr A T Cosford in 1962 the Heyford Chapel was able to consider a measure of rebuilding and, in calling a Part time Minister, became independent.
This was the beginning of the ministry of the Rev Harry Whittaker, better known for his work as the Founder Director of the Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs. Between then and 2003 there have only been three other ministers; Revd. Frank Lawes, Revd. Michael Jones and Revd. Roy Cave.
In 1963 the Methodist Chapel having opened in 1838, was suffering from dwindling numbers and had to close with its remaining few members transferring to the Baptist Chapel. The two stained glass windows which are at the front of our building were also moved from the Methodist Chapel along with a number of the pews and some panelling which was used to create a vestibule.
Serious Dry rot problems were found in 1984 in the Chapel which it seems were simultaneously affecting the Parish Church. This led to a number of united events in money raising activities.
In the absence of a Minister we are fortunate to have the services of a number of visiting preachers but in particular we are indebted to Mr Martin Buckby for his Ministerial and Pastoral help and his spiritual guidance which has been an inspiration to us all.
We remember with gratitude those who had the faith and vision to build this Chapel and those hundreds of faithful men and women who have kept our doors open for all these years.
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Nether Heyford History: The Story of Heyford
© 2019. The Prattler. Local newspaper for Nether Heyford and Upper Heyford , Northamptonshire, England, UK. Printed and delivered free every month to every household (750+) since 1977.