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United Reformed Church in UpperDean

The United Reformed Chapel May 2011
The United Reformed Chapel May 2011

Edwin Welch researched the history of registrations in Bedfordshire for Bedfordshire Historical Records Society Volume 75 Bedfordshire Chapels and Meeting Houses [published in 1996] and found the following for Congregationalist registrations in Dean:

  • 22nd July 1672: the house of James Mees was registered;
  • 22nd July 1672: the house of Peter Yorke was registered;
  • 26th October 1877: the Congregational chapel, later the United Reformed Church, at Upper Dean was registered by Joseph Allison Rendon Skinner of Upper Dean, Independent minister;
  • 26th November 1877: the Congregational chapel in Upper Dean was registered for marriages.

The chapel was listed by the former Department of Environment in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest. It was erected in 1863 and is built of polychrome brick with some stone dressings and has a slate roof. It is built in the Italianate style with Corinthian pilasters.

The chapel was built as a Congregationalist meeting. The Congregational Church of England and Wales merged with the Presbyterian church of England in 1972 to form the United Reformed Church. It is a church which allows individual congregations great scope to organise their services as they choose. Sadly Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has no records from the chapel itself. These are presumably still held at the chapel.