History

A Short History of Renhold Chapel

For many years the non-conformist people of Renhold attended the Baptist Chapel in the village of Wilden, some three miles away, until it was felt there was a need to have a place of worship in their own village.

For some years prior to the building of the chapel meetings were held on Sunday Evenings at different homes with 50 – 60 people attending. These meetings would take the form of a prayer meeting and an occasional address. On Wednesday evenings another prayer meeting was held in different cottages.

chapel before houses
The chapel before surrounding houses were built

The time came when it was felt there was a need for a permanent place of worship. Many visits were made to Howbury Hall requesting a piece of land from Captain Polhill Turner who owned practically the whole of the village.

At first there was some opposition from the vicar of the Anglican Church and the Captain, who was a loyal churchman didn’t want to cause any ill-feeling. However, the opposition was soon overcome and the Captain promised the present site for the building of the chapel. In the summer of 1873 the chapel was built with the chapel members working on the building each evening after working in the surrounding fields.

The opening services were held on Sunday 16th. September 1873. There was a Sunday school in the morning followed by a prayer meeting, then afternoon and evening services.

The first secretary was George Laughton who was also the Sunday School Superintendent. After a few years he moved to Canada and George Harlow took over these posts and held them for many years.

When the chapel was first built there were windows on one side only but in later years three were put in on the road side also making it much lighter and brighter. Over the years many alterations have taken place to the building, including the normal domestic utilities, central heating, a suspended ceiling and following the final collapse of the old wooden floor, a concrete floor was poured. All of this has made the building into a comfortable place to worship.

The 140th Anniversary was celebrated over the weekend of 14 – 16 September 2013 with a Family Fun Day and historical exhibition on the Saturday, a Family service on the Sunday and a final service of Thanksgiving on the Monday evening reflecting the pattern of Sunday & Monday services in the early days.

If you have not been to the chapel, our regular Sunday services are held at 10:30 am & 6:00pm each week or if you prefer, why not come to our Coffee Mornings on the second Tuesday of the month at 10:00am No need to book, just turn up!