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Methodism in Aley Green

 

Aley Green Methodist Chapel March 2007
Aley Green Methodist Chapel in March 2007

The Methodist Chapel at Aley Green stands in Mancroft Road. It was in a part of the village which stood in Hertfordshire until the boundary change of 1965 [CLP75] when it entered Bedfordshire. The chapel was built around 1836 and was used by the Wesleyan Methodists.

The Methodist Archives in Manchester note that Methodism began in Aley Green in 1830, a book written in 1885 by Joseph Hawkes implying that at this date a Sunday School was already up and running, with himself as its first superintendent.

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service holds no records of Aley Green Methodist Church earlier than 1882 (see the list of records below) but it is thought that the chapel was built around 1856, on the site of a barn originally used by Methodists for their meetings. The building bears two date stones 1873 - which may have been the date the schoolroom was added and 1880, possibly the date the porch was added. The History of the chapel [MB1757] notes that the pulpit was at the end of the chapel nearest the road until 1964 when it was moved to the other end and a new, lower pulpit substituted.

At the time of writing [2007] the chapel remains open for public worship.

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service holds a baptism register for the chapel [MB409] dating from 1892 to 1938 and the following names (with dates of birth) appear:

  • Allen, Charles: 1892;
  • Allen, Florence: 1889;
  • Allen, Horace: 1887;
  • Banks, Robert: 1934;
  • Bodsworth, William Thomas: 1888;
  • Burgess, Henry: 1892;
  • Burgess, James Albert: 1891;
  • Brimble, Dorothy Betty: 1938;
  • Fleckney, David: 1936 (of Woodside Farm);
  • Fleckney, Doreen Anne: 1934 (of Woodside Farm);
  • Fleckney, Peter: 1936 (of Woodside Farm);
  • Flitton, Ellen: 1891;
  • Gee, Francis George: 1931;
  • Godfrey, David John: 1933;
  • Godfrey, Peter: 1931;
  • Goodyear, Frederick Benjamin: 1892;
  • Gregory, Maud Annie: 1892;
  • Hawkins, Pauline Ann: 1937;
  • Joy, Eric George: 1936;
  • Joy, Norman: 1938;
  • Laurence, May: 1892;
  • Mayles, Albert: 1886;
  • Morgan, Anthony Gordon: 1935;
  • Morgan, William James: 1933;
  • Odell, Annie: 1891;
  • Odell, William: 1889;
  • Odell, Lizzie: 1886;
  • Odell, Emily: 1884;
  • Shackleton, Elsie Blanch: 1896 (lived in Luton);
  • Smith, Pauline Ann: 1935;
  • Visick, Arthur Oliver: 1936;
  • Visick, Patricia Mary: 1935;
  • Warren, Bertie: 1895;
  • Warren, Kate: 1891

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service holds the following records relating to the chapel:

  • MB409: Register of Baptisms: 1892-1938;
  • MB447: Pulpit Notices Book: 1971-1975;
  • MB1757: A History of Aley Green Methodist Church: 1983;
  • MB1976: Circuit Assessment Ledger including assessment for Aley Green church: 1966-1974;
  • MB2267: Trustees Minute Book: 1935-1976;
  • MB2668: Church Meeting Minute Book: 1962-1982;
  • MB2839: Treasurer's Accounts: 1882-1990;
  • MB2840/1-3: Building Inspections: 1968, 1973 and 1978;
  • MB2840/4: estimated cost of renovating the school room: 1979;
  • MB2841/1-6: Enquiries at Trustees Meetings: 1966, 1974, 1976-1979;
  • MB2842/1-5: Trust Schedules: 1966, 1976-1979;
  • MB2843: Circuit Schedule of property in Aley Green: 1973;
  • MB2876: photograph of the chapel: 2000;
  • MB3124: Luton Circuit Schedule of Accounts including Aley Green chapel income and expenditure account: 1988-2000