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Shefford Church Architecture

Saint Michael and All Angels from west January 2008
Saint Michael and All Angels from west January 2008

Shefford was originally a township in the ancient parish of Campton. The church of Saint Michael and All Angels is virtually a creation of the 19th century but has its origins in the Middle Ages. Shefford was a market town from at least 1225 and the tower of Saint Michael's is 14th century in date. For most of its life the church was, in fact, a chapel of ease, attached to the parish church in Campton. The first known celebration of communion was not held there until 1853, the only services held before that date being those not involving the eucharist such as matins or evensong.

 Shefford High Street about 1820
Shefford High Street about 1820

Other than the tower nothing medieval survives in the current building. Former County Archivist Chris Pickford recounts the history of the building, so far as it is known in Bedfordshire Historical Records Society Volume 79 of 2000: Bedfordshire Churches in the 19th Century: S to Y". Parish accounts of 1691 refer to the chapel undergoing minor repairs [P18/5/1]. Inventories of 1705 and 1708 list furniture and ornaments. Chapel wardens' vouchers provide information on maintenance of the building from 1791 [P70/5/1a].