Silsoe Church Alterations and Repairs
Silsoe church from the south-east March 2011
Former County Archivist Chris Pickford produced a number of volumes for Bedfordshire Historical Records Society on Bedfordshire churches in the 19th century. Silsoe was in the third of these (S-Y), being society volume 79 published in 2000.
The reredos September 2011
The present church was built in 1830 and opened on 20th February 1831, entirely replacing the medieval chapel of ease which stood a few yards to the west. The building continued as a chapel of ease until 1846 when Silsoe became a separate ecclesiastical parish with its own vicar and thus became a church. Hitherto Silsoe had been a chapelry in the ancient parish of Flitton.
The interior of the new church in 1830 [L33/256]
The 1830 church was fitted with box pews and removal of these was considered as early as 1855. The issue was again considered in 1873 when the Archdeacon advised on internal arrangements [ABE3].
The Pulpit September 2011
In the event the box pews were not removed until 1884. The present  seating, pulpit and reading desk were then installed to plans and specifications by Ewan Christian [P54/8/4].
The east window of the chancel at Flitton August 2011
A new east window was fitted in 1857. The stained glass was by Thomas Baillie. New bells were installed in 1857, replacing the two bells which had hung in the bellcote of the old chapel [P54/8/3]. A further bell was added to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887 [P54/8/4].
The organ March 2011
In 1888 and 1889 a new organ was installed. This must have come from somewhere else rather than being new as it was dated 1870 and was altered in 1884. At the same time the chancel in general and the east window in particular were improved.
Plaque in the west tower September 2011
The present clock was installed in 1909 following a visit to Wrest Park by King Edward VII who attended the church for a service. A plaque in the west tower states that the King himself initiated contributed to the offertory that morning which opened the fund for the new clock.
The east window September 2011
In 1911 a new heating system was installed. In 1923 new stained glass windows were placed in the chancel. The windows are by Arthur Savell of Cambridge and the old east window was transferred to Flitton church the following year [P12/2/2/6].
The chancel south east window March 2011
Two more bells were added in 1926. A further bell, now making a peal of six, was added to the church in 1951 when all the bells were re-hung.
The chancel north east window March 2011