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Baptist Chapel

A brief history of the chapel

According to the first Church Book, "on the 4th day of November 1818, 8 persons were baptised at Over Court along with 2 persons from Cottenham and 1 from Swavesey. On the evening of the same day the church was organised on a Gospel plan. The first church meeting was held on November 5th and it was agreed that the Lord's Supper should be attended to on the following Lord's Day."

This is not the first reference to Protestant dissent in the village however. In 1798 there was a reference to "The dwelling house of... Watson of the Parish of Oakington... licensed... as a place wherein to hold meetings for religious worship by a congregation of Protestant Dissenters from the Church of England". The graves of Holcroft, Oddy and Osland, separate from the churchyard because of their non-conformity, date from 1692, and in 1685 the Episcopal Visitation stated of Oakington "This is ye most scandalous Parish and worst in ye diocese (of Ely) and ye people are most vile", and another visitation stated "there were more Dissenters in ye Parish than in any other in the Diocese except March". Whether they were vile just because they were Dissenters we must leave!

In 1829 some ground was bought, the debt of £122 being eventually paid off, and in 1832 a Sunday school was founded by Thomas Coulson. In 1841 a new vestry was built with shutters opening into the Meeting House. In 1842 Mr Nottage became pastor, and in 1849 the children of the Sunday School “received their annual treat of tea and plum cake” where “500-600 friends took tea”. On the 27th June 1854 13 people were baptised at Holywell Ferry. Mr Nottage died in 1857.

In 1865 Mr Parish became pastor, but only five months later a boy named Albert Doggett was playing with matches near the chapel and set light to some straw, the fire spreading to the chapel which was burnt down on the 20th May 1865! The corner stone of the new chapel (the current building) was laid on July 19th 1865 – incredibly, only 2 months after the fire – and the new chapel was opened on the 31st of October 1865. The total cost was £394 0s 9d, part of which was funded by a loan from Fosters Bank of Cambridge which was cleared in 1878.

Visitors are very welcome to any of our services

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Bible verse

"I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners"

- Matthew 9 verse 13