The house of William Odell in Moggerhanger was registered for worship on 19 May 1832 by William Odell, Joseph Sims & David Freshwaters. It is thought that this was for Wesleyan Methodist worship. 22 years later a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was registered for worship on 11 February 1854 by William Henry Clarkson, superintendent minister.
The Ecclesiastical Census of 1851 states that the Wesleyan Chapel in Moggerhanger was formed in 1844. The return made by Thomas Row, Chapel Steward of Offa Street, Bedford. The chapel had 60 Free seats, 40 other seats and there was room for 60 people to stand. The attendances were:
Morning Afternoon Evening
General congregation 50 45
Sunday Scholars 26 29 10
Total 26 79 55
Average attendance for previous 12 months
General congregation 50 60
Sunday Scholars 28 16
Total 78 76
The registration for worship was cancelled on 19 April 1895.
However, this was not the end when in 1927 Mr F Matthews offered a site for a new chapel to be built opposite his farm in St John’s Road, Moggerhanger. Mr & Mrs Matthews had been holding services in their home.
The new chapel was designed by Fred C Levitt and was built by Messrs Baxter and Worboys of Stotfold to accommodate 120 people was opened on 7 February 1929. The chapel was opened by Rev Joseph Shrimpton and the preacher was Rev Aldom French (connexional secretary, Methodist Union).
Activities in the new chapel included Band of Hope and Wesley Guild. Moggerhanger Methodist church closed in December 2011.
Sources & References
Bedfordshire Chapels and Meeting Houses: Official Registration 1672-1901 Volume 75 Bedfordshire Historical Record Society – Edited by Edwin Welch
The Ecclesiastical Census, Bedfordshire, March 1851 Volume 54 Bedfordshire Historical Record Society – Edited by DW Bushby
Bedfordshire Community Archives website
Biggleswade Chronicle: 8 February 1929; 6 January 2012
Bedfordshire Times and Independent: 8 February 1929