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List of Billington Vicars

The former Vicarage December 2008
The former Vicarage December 2008

Advowson

The following list of Vicars of Billington is as complete as records will allow. The advowson of the church, at its creation as an ecclesiastical parish in 1810, lay with the inhabitants of Billington. The current patron [2009] is the Ouzel Valley Team Ministry Patronage Board. In 1981 Billington became part of the Leighton Buzzard (now the Ouzel Valley) Team Ministry and, whilst retaining its own churchwardens, Parochial Church Council and other parish officers has as its vicar the Vicar of Leighton Buzzard.

List of Vicars

  • John Wilson BA - 13th April 1798 [licensed curate on his own petition as he was also Vicar of Leighton Buzzard];
  • Humphrey Drape;
  • John Wilson BA - 23rd May 1811 [on death of Humphrey Drape; resigned 12th November 1839];
  • William Kemble - 24th April 1840 [clerk; licensed to the church on resignation of John Wilson];
  • John Charles Orlebar - 18th April 1843 [clerk; licensed on cess. of William Kemble; patron a majority of the inhabitants];
  • Edward Bradshaw - 1st December 1858 [clerk; on the resignation of John Charles Orlebar on the nomination of churchwardens, overseers and other inhabitants];
  • George Bradshaw - June 1898;
  • Joseph Holden Stallard - December 1902;
  • Charles Winship - December 1919;
  • William Albert Bywater - January 1926;
  • Percy Cecil Chalmers Lamb - May 1931;
  • Arthur Thomas Stephens - October 1933;
  • Frederick Henry Jacob Charles Chambers - April 1937;
  • William Alfred Allan - August 1940;
  • Francis Scoble Rogers - September 1946;
  • John James Frank Scammell - 1965;
  • Peter Harold Whittaker - 1981;
  • John Anthony Lovett Hulbert - 1992;
  • Grant Fellows - 2003

 Edward Bradshaw's verse in the churchyard
Edward Bradshaw's verse in the churchyard

Ecclesiastical Census

On Sunday 30th March 1851 a census of all churches, chapels and preaching-houses of every denomination was undertaken in England and Wales. The local results were published by Bedfordshire Historical Records Society in 1975 as Volume 54, edited by D.W.Bushby. The return for Billington church was made by the Vicar, John Charles Orlebar, who noted the following pieces of information. The church had fifty eight free seats and three others and the general congregation was eighteen at the afternoon service with thirty five Sunday scholars. The average for the previous year had been eighteen and thirty five scholars in the morning; twenty five and thirty six scholars in the afternoon and twenty with thirty scholars in the evening. Orlebar commented: "A poor Chapelry and the ruinated state of the fabric make it very uncomfortable to Church attendance".