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Hungerford

The first Wesleyan Methodist church that can be traced in Hungerford was built in Church Street in 1807, named 'Ebenezer'. Thit is said to have been on the site of an earlier one for which no details can be traced, so it may well have been a private house licensed for worship. The Ebenezer’s foundation stone, rediscovered in 1994, is now in the Bridge Street church. At the time of the 1851Religious Census, 160 free sittings and 156 ‘others’ were recorded, with standing room fort 50. Attendances were 173 in the morning and 153 in the evening, with 79 in the Sunday School. In 1869 the congregation moved to a new church built in Gothic style in Bath Road.

In 1833 Thomas Russell and John Ride from the Shefford PM Circuit arrived in the town and established a Primitive Methodist society which met in a house at the town end of Salisbury Road (then known s Moon Lane). In 1868 this was replaced by a chapel in Bridge Street, quite close to the Bath Road Wesleyans. A schoolroom was added and alterations made to the church facade in 1907.

Despite Methodist Union in 1932, the two congregations remained separate until Bath Road was closed in 1970. Its site is now occupied by a residential development called Chapel Court. In 1993 the Bridge Street premises were refurbished, with chairs replacing the pews and other improvements.

Category: Place

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