A bit of history

One of the unusual things about a congregation like ours is that despite worshiping in a modern building dating from the 60’s, our congregation actually dates back into the 1770’s.

Set back from the road, a number of people don’t realise, we have have a cemetery. It’s on that site that the original building stood.

In this atmospheric photo of the oldest part of the plot, taken a couple of years ago, you can see the tomb of George Batchelor on the left, who was the founder member. There are numerous publications on the history of the Church here, and the area which has a significant non-conformist heritage.

Numbers of people come by each year to trace ancestors for family trees. The place is a tranquil spot, and there are many interesting inscriptions on the stones.

Visitors are asked to remember of course that the cemetery is still in use, and is special place.

Wiltshire County Council has quite a good page on their history site about us. Also, there is the main resource book for history of the Baptists in this area called ‘Twenty Golden Candlesticks’, by William Doel. As the book only went up to the late 1800’s, Andrew Jones, a deacon at Zion Baptist Church in Trowbridge wrote a sequel ‘Twenty Golden Candlesticks revisited’ bringing the story up to date. Ben was very honoured to be asked to write the forward to that book.