2020 marks the beginnings of our Centenary Celebrations
As colleagues and friends fell around him in the trenches of the first world war, Mr J. S. Rideout made a vow that if God were to spare his life, he would found a Baptist Church somewhere in Bedfordshire. His life was spared and the Rideout family eventually moved to Bromham and the promise was honoured.
Initially, from 1920, a small group of free church worshippers held their Sunday meetings in a room at the Bakehouse on the village green. Later, a large plot of land was purchased in the centre of the village and the first Church was built. It was a wooden building and at the side was a grass area and a cycle shed; the rest of the land was used as allotments by Church members. The land had been purchased on 24th September 1924.
At the time, Bromham did not have electricity, so six large oil lamps were bought for the Church, as well as a hundred wooden chairs. For heating, there was a large cast-iron coke stove. Apparently it was often cold on a Sunday morning, but too hot by Sunday night!
The estimated life of the wooden building was seventeen years, but it lasted rather longer, and had to be demolished in 1992 to make way for the present buildings!
As the village of Bromham began to expand, so did the congregation. In 1966 a new brick building was completed and ten years later additional rooms were added.
The present buildings were completed in 1992, and we are thankful that Mr Rideout had the vision to purchase such a large plot of land so many years ago.
The original foundation stone from 1924 bears the inscription: “For the salvation of Bromham”
When the new buildings were opened in 1992, the words below were incorporated as part of the Church’s mission that appeared on the plaque :
“To the glory of God with one desire - the extension of His Kingdom.”
This is still our Mission today.