Church History Beaumont Baptist Church Records


This history was written many years ago and it is written in a rather quaint style.

About the year 1780 Mr Jonathan Beaumont had his house (now called Woodbridge House) on the Market Hill licensed for preaching till a Chapel was built.

In the year of our Lord 1787 a Chapel was erected by Mr Jonathan Beaumont on the burying ground in front of the present Chapel, which he endowed with the sum of £500, which sum has been laid out by the Trustees in the purchase of a few neat Cottages. [The church was officially called Cuttings Lane Independent Chapel but commonly known as The Beaumont Chapel]

The Chapel for some years was supplied by the Countess of Huntingdonís ministers in connection with the worthy founder, who frequently preached in the Villages with acceptance and usefulness.

The Ordinance of the Lords supper was first administered by the Revd. Mr Hinckman & was afterward supplied by the Revd. Charles Langford, who officiated for about three years upon the decease of Mr Beaumont which happened on February 11th 1807. The inscription on the communion plate can be found here.

The connection, first formed, being dissolved, application was made to the Academy under the care of the Revd. Geo Collison Hackney, whence supplies were sent till the Congregation united in giving a Call to the Revd. William Seaton, a Student in that foundation, which was accepted to the Satisfaction of the Church and people.

Under Mr Seatonís ministry (he was ordained November 13th 1810), a Sabbath School was formed & prospered. The Congregation, through the blessing of the Lord attending the word, being much increased, it was resolved to take down the Old Chapel which held about 300 people & build another to hold 500. The foundation was laid May 14th 1810, and whilst the Chapel was being built Mr Seaton preached in the Town Hall.

To effect the erection of the New Chapel, 8 persons became responsible for £100 for a site of land & the deficiency of the cost of the Chapel after all local and distant aid might fail them. Mr Seaton declined seeking distant aid, & leaving shortly afterward the 8 persons who had paid for the ground and erection between 5 & 600 pounds more than they had received, generously waived their respective claims to free the Chapel before the settlement of another Minister.

On November 13th of the same year it was opened for divine worship, at which time the Revd. William Seaton was set apart to the Pastoral Office, which office he filled for five years. At Michaelmas 1814 he conceived his duty to resign, on which He removed to Andover.

Mr Hurn, former Rector of Debenham, commenced preaching at the Chapel in 1823 having left the Church of England from conviction of its unscripturalness. Mr Hurnís labours at the Chapel were largely blessed. Mr Hurn spent several hundred pounds of his own property in putting in side galleries and otherwise enlarging & improving the Chapel. There was a large Sabbath School having many children from Waldringfield, Martlesham, Clopton, Melton & Bredfield as well as the Town, in which Mr Hurnís nieces the Misses Cook were very laborious and successful. The Chapel continued to be well attended till Mr Hurnís death in 1829.

On Dec 1st 1840 the church was licensed for marriages.

On 31st May 1841, the Church and Congregation being through the divine blessing greatly on the increase, the chapel was taken down & the foundation stone of a new one was laid by Mr Ross in the presence of about 250 persons. Some meeting were held at the Quay whilst building work was in progress. The cost was £1050.

On Oct 7th 1841, the New Chapel was opened with manifest tokens of the divine presence.. The Revd J Sherman & the Revd Caleb Morris preached "O Lord I beseech thee send now prosperity".

On Jan 4th 1847, it was unanimously agreed to choose annually 7 managers or deacons, each member voting for 7 male members, the seven highest in numbers to hold office for a year. On Mar 15th 1847 at an election on the following deacons were appointed :-
Robert Hayward, Daniel Coates, John Skeet, John D Munro, William Wright, James Smith, John W Issitt.

On Apr 26th a meeting of the officers was held to arrange each oneís special department of labour as follows :
    Mr Munro - Superintendent of the Sabbath
    Mr Skeet was appointed treasurer.
    Messrs Wright, Jarrett, Coates and Munro to attend to subscriptions in turns.
    Messrs Wright & Munro the letting of the pews.
    Mr Issitt Turner - House repairs, marriages & funerals
    Villages - Mr Coates
    Sabbath School - Mr Skeet
    Vestry Library - Mr Wright
    Church land - Mr Hayward

On Sept 2nd 1847 Brethren Smith & Skeet were appointed Delegates to the Congregational Union & 10/- was set aside to be sent forthwith as our annual subscription of Membership. In addition to Brethren Munro, Skeet, Sykes, Coates, Butters, Hayward & Addison, Brethren Davis, Hewey, Seammon & Aldich were appointed Village Preachers.

On Mar 5th 1848 The Church signified its desire to join the Western Association of Churches in the County

On Mar 31st 1851 Copy of Returns of census of Matters Relating to Public Worship on March 30th 1851 :

 

General

Sabbath School

Total

Morning Service

261

177

438

Afternoon

348

168

516

Evening

223

 -

223

Sabbath School - Girls on books 99,   Boys 108,   Total 207

[Around this time the church became a member of the Congregational Union and was called Cuttings Lane Congregational Church. However it was still known locally as The Beaumont Chapel.]

On 17 Aug 1854 a letter was received directing that the Burial Ground be closed.

On May 20th 1855, the Revd. J Ross on Sabbath Day Morning resigned his office as Pastor and Minister over the Church and Congregation assembling in Beaumont Chapel. At a meeting of the Members and Subscribers held previously to the above resignation with the full advice and concurrence of Mr Ross it was unanimously resolved that an effort be made to seek the union of the Chapel with the Church assembling at the Quay Meeting.

At a meeting held on the Wednesday following Mr Rossís resignation it was resolved with only three deficients that a committee be formed to carry the Union into effect. In consequence of the dissatisfaction expressed by many of the friends a further meeting was called when the sense of the meeting was taken by ballot and a majority obtained for setting aside the Union previously resolved on. Four of the Deacons and several other Friends, having felt the importance and desirableness of the Union, resolved to unite with the friends at the Quay Meeting. At a meeting held shortly after the above named one Mr J Baker & J Spore were requested to take the Keys belonging to Beaumont Chapel and likewise the Church Book, which they consented to do until Deacons should be chosen by the Church. On Sept 15th 1855 The Revd William Palmer of Ashley Green, Manchester commenced a months probation in Beaumont Chapel, at the termination of which he received a unanimous invitation..

On Mar 31st 1860, special permission was given for the future interment of the Remains of Mrs Henry Taylor in the Family Vault of her late Husband Mr Geo. Banyard. Mrs Taylor died 13th July 1871 and was buried in Beaumont Chapel Grave yard 19 July 1871.

On Nov 20th 1862 at a meeting of the Chapel committee to take into consideration the best means for securing a house to the Chapel for the Minister to reside in, Messrs Munro & Baker were appointed to examine the house and premises on Market Hill now for sale and to enquire the price thereof.

On Sunday February 23rd 1868, an Organ was opened in the Chapel. The number of Gas-lights had also been considerably increased and other improvements made.

On Sabbath Oct 15th 1871 the Chapel was re-opened after being closed four Sabbaths - a new gallery having been erected at the back of the pulpit, and other alterations. The entire cost was about £60.

From April 1899 the Revd. H D Tooke Baptist Minister of Grundisburgh kindly took the oversight, preaching many times himself, and arranging for other supplies till July 8th 1900. It was thought advisable by the friends assembled at a meeting held on January 3rd 1900 that two Congregational Churches were not needed in so small a town as Woodbridge & that application be made for admission as a Church to the Baptist Union of Great Britain & Ireland. On April 24th 1900 a letter was received from the Revd J Parker M.A. of Ilford (to whom the Church was much indebted at this juncture) that the Church had been admitted into the above Union.

On April 29th 1900 application was made by the Church for admission into the Suffolk Baptist Union & on June 16th 1900 a letter was received from Revd T. M. Morris of Ipswich Secretary of the Union stating that the application had been unanimously agreed-to.

On October 30th 1911 a resolution was passed that the Church desires to call the attention of the Trustees to the dilapidated condition of the roof at the rear of the schoolroom. In view of the approaching winter it is very urgent that repairs be executed at once. Nov 27th - repairs had started. Final cost - £20

On October 23rd 1912 the Trustees reported that the Schoolroom was really past repair & they did not feel justified in spending more money on it. A committee was appointed to confer with them on the subject.

On July 1st 1913 the Pastor informed the Church that the Trustees had purchased a piece of land near the Churchyard for the Schoolroom site. Further particulars would be brought before the Church later.

Feb 2nd 1916. It is with regrets we record the death of two members our brother and sister Mr & Mrs R Tyler - there's being a sudden homecall through the sad events which happened in the month of August 1915 by an Air Raid [Zeppelin raid] on the Town. Other members suffered through their homes being destroyed by the same cause. The attendance at our services have also been affected by circumstances and present conditions.


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