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Baptists in Woodside

The former Woodside Baptist chapel March 2007
The former Woodside Baptist Chapel March 2007

The earliest definitive reference to Baptists in Woodside is in 1828 when Ebenezer Daniel registered the house of William Bigg at Woodside for worship. Daniel was the minister of Castle Street Baptist Church in Luton from 1812 to 1830. Joining him in the registration were Bigg himself, William Clark and Francis Harrison [ABN1/2; ABN2/238; ABN3/3, 85].

In 1811 William Plummer’s house in Woodside had been registered by minister John Rossell, Joseph Gostick, William Underwood and William Jackson [ABN1/1; ABN2/140]. It is quite possible that this was a Baptist meeting but there is no evidence for it.

The Baptist cause at Woodside seems to have undergone a temporary decline some time after 1828. On Sunday 30th March 1851 a census of all churches, chapels and preaching-houses of every denomination was undertaken in England and Wales. The local results were published by Bedfordshire Historical Records Society in 1975 as Volume 54, edited by D. W. Bushby. The returns from the Caddington do not include one from a Baptist meeting at Woodside.

Nevertheless, Woodside Baptist Church was built in 1862. Sadly Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has no records concerning the chapel at all. This small chapel is now a private house