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Kensworth Mission Churches

The School House and Mission Church about 1910 [Z1306]
The School House and Mission Church about 1910 [Z1306]

The following information can be found in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Volume number 80 of 2001: Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century: Part IV: Appendices and Index, put together by former County Archivist Chris Pickford from numerous sources some held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service and some held elsewhere or published.

The parish church at Kensworth stands some way from the main centre of population at Kensworth Common. A National School was opened at the Common in 1853 and in 1882 temporary wooden mission room was built in the grounds of the school to provide an alternative place of worship. Known as Saint Mary’s Mission church, it was licensed on 28th August 1882 [P34/2/5/1].

The churchwardens’ vouchers from 1893 record maintenance and repairs to the mission room and its harmonium [P34/5/4-26]. There was a fire in the mission church on 26th November 1933 [P34/0/13] and in 1938 the architect H. Lewis Curtis prepared a design for a new church [P34/2/5/4]. This was never built and by 1960 the building was in poor condition [P34/2/1/3 and P34/2/5/6]. It was demolished in 1960 and a new mission church in Clay Hall Road, on the opposite corner with Common Road to the old mission church was dedicated and licensed for worship in March 1961 [P34/2/5/7]. Today the vicarage stands on the site.