Quay Meeting House
  Woodbridge, Suffolk
  The first attempt to merge 
Beaumont and Quay 

This is a record of the first attempt to merge Beaumont Chapel with Quay Meeting to become one church with services held at at Quay Street. These events took place in 1855 and were written down the following year.

It should be understood that Beaumont Chapel had formed in 1787 from a group who had left the Quay Meeting. The record below tells of an attempt to re-unite the two churches. A further, successful attempt started in 2006 with the members of Beaumont holding their final, short service on Easter morning then walking in procession down to Quay Street. The Baptists later purchased the Quay Street building from the United Reformed Church and invited the URC members to transfer their membership. The combined church adopted the name Woodbridge Quay Church.

This church book was procured during the Pastorate of the Rev. F B Brown (now settled at [un-readable] but the first entries were made by Aaron Duffy in January 1856.

The account which immediately follows of the foundation of the church from the time of Mr Brown’s retirement to my settlement here, is copied from memoranda made by two of the deacons viz Mr E Pite and Mr H J Andrews.

Shortly after the retirement of the Rev. F B Brown from the Pastorate of the Quay Meeting several of the influential friends connected with the Church of Christ assembling at Beaumont met for the purpose of consulting whether it would not be according to the will of God to endeavour to unite that Church with the Sister Church at the Quay Meeting and thenceforth as one harmonious body there to promote their individual spiritual prosperity and the Kingdom of Christ. In this matter they had the sanction of their Pastor the Rev. J Ross.

After due consideration and ascertaining the mind of some few friends who were connected with the Quay Meeting and who are favourably disposed to such a union it was decided to call a meeting of the Church and Congregation at Beaumont Chapel for the purpose of making a statement of the affairs of the place generally and if the Friends were disposed to a Union then to get an expression of the views upon the subject.

At a meeting of the Church and Congregation at Beaumont Chapel on [blank space] after due notice had been given by the Minister [blank space] , a report of the state at a people was made and such plans suggested for their future course it was thought to be in their favour to pursue. Amongst the plans suggested one was that of uniting with the Church at the Quay Meeting. After considerable discussion of the subject during which the friends were urged to state their feelings freely and fully Mr Fossitt [?] who was in the chair put a resolution which was carried all but unanimously that it was desirable to seek a union with the Church at the Quay Meeting House.

A deputation was appointed to wait upon the officers of the Quay Church upon the subject. The interview took place in the Quay Vestry on [blank space] . At this meeting there was but the feeling as to the desirableness of the object and the Deacons of the Quay Meeting undertook to call a meeting of the Church and Subscribers. According to a notice given on the previous Lord’s Day a meeting was held in the Vestry on [blank space] at 7 o’clock. There was a full attendance. The subject was opened by one of the Deacons supported by the others and freely [un-readable] by the friends present. A desire prevailed most cordially to promote the Union on the basis of Mutual privileges.

A resolution to that effect was unanimously carried. This resolution with certain suggestions as to the mode of carrying the object was handed over to the officers of Beaumont Chapel.

The Deacons of the Quay Chapel induced a few friends to join with them to act as a Committee for furthering the object.

At a meeting at Beaumont Chapel the resolution of the Quay Church with their suggestions were accepted as the basis of the proposed Union.

At the next meeting held at the Beaumont Chapel [blank space] the time for uniting was fixed and was agreed to invite the Rev. Alexander of Norwich to preside at the occasion. In order to facilitate the object it was agreed to discontinue the Sabbath Evening and Work day services at Beaumont Chapel that the people accustomed to worship then might at these times meet at the Quay Chapel. It was soon discovered that many of the Beaumont people were averse to this as they did not attend the services at the Quay Meeting.

At another meeting held at Beaumont Chapel Mr Fossitt in the chair the subject was considered and on the votes of the persons present being taken by ballot it was found that about two thirds were against the formation of the Union.

After this those of the Beaumont people who had ammassed to worship at the Quay Meeting and who purposed continuing to do so withdrew from the Church at Beaumont Chapel, of which they were members, and those who had been officers resigned their trusts. At a meeting of the Church held in the Quay Vestry August 1st 1855 and presided over by the Rev. John Hill M.A. of Stratford, London the following persons formerly members of the Church assembling at Beaumont Chapel were cordially received into the fellowship of the Church at the Quay Meeting house, viz

James Hunt, Robert Hayward, John D Munro,
Ann Hunt, Mary Ann Hayward, Sarah Monroe,
William Girling, Robert Hayward junr, Miss Sarah Monroe,
Edward Horton, Anna Hayward,
George Milburn, William Knight,
Richard Batchelor, Mary Ann Knight,
Edward Plant, Mary Green,
Elizabeth Plant, Mary Ann Green,
Altogether nineteen persons.

At a meeting of the Church held August 29th 1855 and presided over the by the Rev. G E Stallybrass BA. the officiating minister on that evening the following 4 persons who had been members at Beaumont chapel were received into this Church. Mr. Townsend, Elizabeth Watkins, Mrs Hills, Mrs. Theodrick.

October 3rd 1855. At Church Meeting held at this date a letter was read from the Rev. Daniel Jones of Pettestree in which he explained the relationship in which he stood to Church of Christ at Wickham Market likewise the case of Mr. Jones and Mr. Studd; after which at their request they were received into fellowship here. The members were then requested to make the state of the Church as being still without a Pastor the subject of earnest prayer. At a Church Meeting held October 31st 1855 presided over by one of the Deacons a letter was read from the Church assembling in Westminster Chapel, London Samuel Martin Pastor, commending Lydia Aloore [?] to the fellowship of this church on which recommendation she was received. Benjamin Gall was proposed for Christian fellowship and J D Haws and B Gammage were appointed to wait but upon him.


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