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Primitive Methodism in Shillington

The former Primitive Methodist chapel April 2015
The former Primitive Methodist chapel April 2015

There had been no Primitive chapel in Shillington at the time of the ecclesiastical census of 1851 and the meeting in Shillington was formed in 1878. A Primitive Methodist chapel in Bury Road was registered on 20th December 1887 by William Brass of Pembroke Street, Baldock [Hertfordshire], minister. The Primitive Methodist meeting in Shillington formed a part of the Luton Primitive Circuit in 1878 and 1879, then the Hitchin Circuit. The chapel building bears the date 1906, presumably when it was rebuilt, certainly a new trust was formed on 6th Mrch that year [MB2/SHI1/3/829a] with the following members 9all Shillington unless stated otherwise): James Pettifar of Meppershall, labourer; james Payne on Canning Town [London], labourer; Henry Stapleton, wheelwright; Joel Fisher, labourer; Alfred Hoare, butcher; Elisha Pike of Shefford, draper; Alfred Ansell, labourer; John Jay, labourer; Ernest Hare, labourer; Samuel David Peck, bricklayer; Stephen Peck, bricklayer; Henry Ansell, market gardener; John William King, builder.

In 1932 the Primitive Methodists came into union with the United Methodists and Wesleyan Methodists to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain. Despite this both the former Primitive and former Wesleyan chapels in the village remained open for another 64 years each, no doubt, reflecting their former heritage. In 1996, however, the two congregations merged and the former Primitive chapel closed. It is now [2015] a private house.

Plaque on the former Primitive Methodist chapel April 2015
Plaque on the former Primitive Methodist chapel April 2015

Bedfordshire and Luton Archive and Record Service has the following records for the former Primitive Methodist chapel:

  • MB2/SHI1/3/829a: trustees' account book: 1906-1934;
  • MB2/SHI1/6/2828: worship certificate: 1908;
  • MB2/SHI1/2/829b: trustees' minute book: 1937-1977;
  • MB2/SHI1/2/3068: society and church council minutes: 1968-1992;
  • MB2/SHI1/6/2829: certificate for registration to conduct marriages: 1971;
  • MB2/SHI1/6/3201: inspection reports, insurance claim and possible conversion to a house: 1978-1996;
  • MB2/SHI1/2/2827: final church council and meeting minutes: 1992-1996;
  • MB2/SHI2/2/3199: High Road and Bury Road Joint Church Council minutes: 1993-1996;
  • MB2/SHI1/11/2827/4: Churches Together in Shillington constitution: 1994;
  • MB2/SHI1/11/3830: policy for combined Methodist church: 1995;
  • MB2/SHI1/4/2827/2: background notes on the union with High Road chapel: 1996;
  • MB2/SHI1/6/3842: exterior photograph: 1996;
  • MB2/SHI1/7/2927/3: meeting with High Road Chapel regarding work with children and young people: 1996;
  • MB2/SHI1/14/3202: merger papers: 1996.