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Bunyan Meeting in Goldington

 The former Bunyan Meeting June 2017
The former Bunyan Meeting June 2017

Sadly Bedfordshire Archive and Record Service does not have very much material on the later Bunyan Meeting. Edwin Welch researched the history of registrations in Bedfordshire for Bedfordshire Historical Records Society Volume 75 Bedfordshire Chapels and Meeting Houses [published in 1996] and found that on 1st May 1672 the house of Gilbert Ashley was registered by Congregationalists. On 12th July 1860 the Goldington Meeting, in connection with the Bunyan Meeting in Bedford, was registered by John Jukes of Dame Alice Street, Bedford, the senior Congregationalist minister.

On Sunday 30th March 1851 the one and only ecclesiastical census was held - a survey asking for statistics on those attending places of worship that day. The return for the Bunyan Meeting in Goldington was sent by Thomas Lester, pastor of the mother church in Bedford. He gave the date of foundation of the Goldington meeting as 1835 and stated that that evening there had been 74 worshippers, the average being one hundred.

The Bedfordshire Times of 24th October 1871 carried an article on the re-opening of the chapel following enlargement. This chapel was in Chapel Close, between the school and the Anchor public house, it was demolished in the 20th century after building of the new meeting in Linkway. Bedfordshire and Luton Archive and Record Service has an order of service for the opening of the new meeting on 2nd March 1957 [BY16/2/4] and two marriage registers dating from 1963 to 1986 [BY17/4-5]. The building is now used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, for which Bedfordshire Archive and Record Service has no archives.