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Stevington Church Room

South elevation of the Church Room [CDE45]
South elevation of the Church Room [CDE45]

The attractive Church Room was built on land provided, like the school opposite, by the Duke of Bedford, who also provided £100 towards the building costs. The architects were Usher and Anthony of Bedford [CDE45 and 122]. The foundation stone was laid by the Duchess of Bedford on 4th November 1897 and the building opened on 26th April 1898.

An insurance policy with Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Limited, taken out in May 1898 [P71/35/3] specified the following:

  • The building, of brick and tile and heated by a Musgrave stove, insured for £605;
  • The furniture and books were insured for £25;
  • The scientific apparatus and other educational appliances were insured for £5;
  • The musical instruments were insured for £10;
  • The coal barn, two closets and urinal, "all under one roof situate detached near the above" insured for £50;
  • One year's rent insured at £5.

The insurer noted that there was a securely fixed copper furnace in the Tea Room or Wash House.

The first trustees were: Rev. J. R. H. Duke (the Vicar of Stevington), Rev. G. F. W. Munby and Francis Higgins of Turvey House; they were appointed by the Ely Diocesan Trustees [P71/35/4] and were replaced by new trustees in 1913 [P71/35/6]. Letters from Rev Duke to a successor as Vicar, Canon Sproule noted that no Nonconformists had been asked to subscribe, though some may have done so [P71/35/13] and that it was a Church Room not a Parish Room [P71/35/14]. In 1956 the Parochial Church Council became trustees [P71/35/15]

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has account books for the Church Room from 1921 to 1950 [P71/35/7] and 1951 to 1963 [P71/35/8]. Receipted bills cover the periods 1919 to 1920 [P71/35/9], 1919 to 1922 [P71/35/10] and 1922 [P71/35/11].

At the time of writing the Church Room is used as a village shop (there being no other in the village) which is open between 3 pm and 5 pm on Mondays.

Stevington Church Room December 2008
Stevington Church Room December 2008