The Story of Heyford (Extra): The Baptist Chapel

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Nether Heyford Baptist Chapel overlooks the village green, next door to the village hall. It also has an adjoining schoolroom which is used for coffee mornings, community cafes and other many other community events.

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.”

Harvest Festival (Sometime before 1963)

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Harvest Festival 2019

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Vi Wilson 

Parish Council – December 2019 Meeting

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The December meeting was held as normal on Monday 6th in the  Baptist Chapel Schoolroom.

Like all Council meetings it was open to the public.

Reports from the District and County Councillors: A report from Cllr Brown was read out, explaining that progress towards Unitary authorities was on hold due to the current political situation. He also gave details of NCC’s draft budget consultation. Cllr PB also referred to the uncertainty regarding the initiation of the Unitaries because of the General Election. He gave details of the refuse collections over the holiday period.

Public Participation: Mrs Matthews expressed concerns over the situation regarding flooding in Watery Lane and in support of the proposals of the highways department to alleviate it.

PCSO:  was felt to be doing a good job, and was visible and friendly.

Streetlights: Lights outside the Baptist Chapel, 15 watery lane, between Bliss Close and the Luddle, and Rolfe Cresc. all to be reported as out.

Roads and pavements: Poor condition generally. Conifers in South View had been cut.

The Green and Play Area: The Green was felt to be in good order. CK felt more trees were needed, AW wondered whether sponsoring would be popular. Play Area inspected and no problems.

Playing Fields: Netball Court had been started.

Trees: Churchyard and Green pollarding to be done in early New Year.

Allotments: Wildlife area progressing well. Pond being developed. 5 Allotments free.

Footpaths: Very muddy in the exceptionally wet weather.

Churchyard: Hedges trimmed, wall in good order.

Canal: MB reported the dog mess situation had improved.

Joint Burial Board: Fallon name plate details to be kept on file. 3 recent interments.

Youth Club: All going well. PCSO had visited to introduce himself.

Defibrillators: Both checked and in order.

To reconsider the situation regarding kerbs in Watery Lane. Discussion took place about the reasons for the problems in Watery Lane and about the proposed solutions from Highways, who recommended raising the dropped kerbs on the residential side of the road opposite the allotments, and dropping the kerb on the allotments side by 1 ½ – 2 inches over a 3 metre length. Highways have the funding to do the work. Resolved To support the Highways plan.
Resolved. To purchase a Sand Bin for placing in the area, and later to purchase sand and bags when it is installed.

To consider the provision of an office. This was a long term project, deferred for the present.

Church roof/Alarm. Council considered a contribution towards funding for a replacement steel roof, and an alarm system. It was felt an immediate contribution could be made, and further assistance given if required. Resolved. £1000 to be contributed towards the replacement roofing.

To consider removing the Memorial Green hedge. Resolved. To remove the hedge.

To consider signing the Armed Forces covenant. Resolved. To sign the covenant.

Grants Policy – to adopt. Deferred.

Neighbourhood Plan – No report on progress due to the illness of Mrs Corner.

To consider the recommendations of the Finance committee regarding the 2020/21 Precept. In light of the decisions at the meeting it was felt better to defer acceptance of the Finance Committee recommendations until January.

ACRE Village Awards 2020 – Resolved. To support the Village Hall Management application to be put in by Alwyne Wilson.

PDF of Full Minutes December 2019

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com 

It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Council meetings take place on the first Monday of each month (unless there is a Bank Holiday)

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on the first Monday of the month at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.30 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners.

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the councillors please visit our Nether Heyford Parish Council page.

Parish Council – November 2019 Meeting

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The November 4th meeting was held as normal in the  Baptist Chapel Schoolroom.

Like all Council meetings it was open to the public.

Flooding: We have been subject to heavy rain again, and the village has largely escaped the problems it has caused elsewhere in the County, and other parts of the Country. The lane between the Heyfords had to be closed for a time, and while that is inconvenient it is better to have the water there than elsewhere in the village.

Public Participation: Jo Dixon informed Council that the Tennis Club was fundraising towards a target, and had been applying to Sport England for funding, but that they wanted to deal with the owners of the land, so she asked Council whether they would accept contact from Sport England.

Mrs Reeves felt that Council should thank Mr Arnold for all his efforts on behalf of the village in regard to flood alleviation. The Chair thanked Mr Arnold on behalf of the Parish Council. Mr Arnold said that a great deal of work had been done, and that it had helped improve the situation regarding flooding.

Reports: Roads and pavements. The sign on Hillside road by the Green had been knocked over. Clerk to follow up regarding the signs that need painting.

The Green and Play Area: It was felt that the hedge on the Memorial Green should either be replanted or removed as it was in poor condition. Decision deferred to the next meeting.

It was resolved to allow the Heyford Singers to hold “Carols on the Green” on the Green in December, and resolved to give a grant towards expenses to the Heyford singers.

The Fair was supposed to be coming in September but had not done because of poor weather.

Playing Fields: It was resolved that Council to approach Sport England on behalf of
the Tennis Club, and to accept funding.

Trees: The hedge in the jitty between the Memorial Green and Church Street was in need of attention. It would be checked to see who owns it.

Allotments: A report on expenditure was given and additional funding requested in next years precept. Mr Thorneycroft had asked for assurances that schoolchildren would be allowed to enter the new playing field through the allotments and was concerned that a gate had been chained and padlocked. It was not clear who had done this. The hedge between the water pumping station and the allotments was in need of attention.

Canal: It was reported that volunteers were doing many minor jobs.

Youth Club: to seek Quotes for external lighting so children could stay outside longer.

Defibrillators: In good order.

Neighbourhood Plan: A report on expenditure was given and a request for additional funding made to cover work on site assessment. Any money left over would be returned.

The Housing Needs survey would be distributed shortly, with a return date of 29th November. Part 1 would be filled in by all, Part 2 would be for those who intended to move or downsize in the next 5 years.

Precept Meeting: will take place on November 28th and set the budget for the next
financial year. Village organisations wishing to apply for funding must apply by
November 25th at the latest.

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com 

It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Council meetings take place on the first Monday of each month (unless there is a Bank Holiday)

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on the first Monday of the month at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.30 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners.

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the councillors please visit our Nether Heyford Parish Council page.