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Wesleyan Methodism in Harrold

Organised Methodism in Harrold had a very short history - just five years - so far as can be determined from the archives held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service.

In 1841 the Circuit Quarterly Meeting minutes [MB6] reveal that in March 1841: "Messrs Biggs, Ivett and Roe, the committee appointed to fit up the place at Harrold report that the repairs are finished but they have not yet settled the concern". The concern was settled by the execution of a lease from Jesse Biggs to John Brown, Jabez Smith, John Ivett and Thomas Row of Bedford of a barn in his own occupation "for use of the Wesleyan Methodists for their public and private religious worship at all such times as they may think proper" [MB93]. The lease was to run for five years and the trustees to be responsible for removing all pulpits, seating, hat pegs etc. at the end of it.

The lease was obviously not renewed as in 1846 the Quarterly Meeting minutes record: "Mr.S.Bennett propose and Mr.Howard seconded that the offer of the Harrold clergyman to take the fixtures at a valuation be accepted and that Messrs Ross and Stimson be a committee to dispose of these". At the next meeting it was recorded: "Mr.Stimson reported that the Churchwardens of Harrold offered ten pounds for the forms and floor of the Preaching Place and that he had offered to take fourteen pounds. The Board directed Mr.S. to take the sum offered i.e. ten pounds".

Presumably with a Congregational church so well established in the village the Methodists found that they could not compete for noncomformist worshippers. It would be thirty years before another denomination tried its luck when the "Unsectarian" Mission Hall was built.