Alt Ref NoTH/8230 & TH/8635
Bethnal Green United Reformed Church
TitleRecords of Bethnal Green United Reformed (formerly Congregational) Church
Date1839 - 1985
DescriptionScope and content
The collection consists of:
W/BGU/1/1 Minutes of Church Meetings
W/BGU/1/2 Loose papers found inside W/BGU/1/1/1-2
W/BGU/1/3 Minutes of Deacons/Elders Meetings
W/BGU/1/4 Minutes of Sunday School Meetings
W/BGU/1/5 Minutes of Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Society
W/BGU/2/1 Annual Registers of Church Members
W/BGU/2/2 Registers of Baptisms
W/BGU/2/3 Young Persons Society
W/BGU/2/4 Rolls of Honour
W/BGU/3/1 General cash books
W/BGU/3/2 Ledgers
W/BGU/3/3 General Account books
W/BGU/3/4 Income/Receipts books
W/BGU/3/5 Expenditure books
W/BGU/3/6 Communion Fund Accounts
W/BGU/3/7 Young Peoples Society Accounts
W/BGU/3/8 Balance Sheets
W/BGU/3/9 Receipts
W/BGU/3/10 Free Will Offering Accounts
W/BGU/3/11 Womens' Meetings Subscription Books
W/BGU/3/12 Membership Account Books
W/BGU/3/13 Manse flat rent books
W/BGU/3/14 Banking books/Receipt books/Cheque books
W/BGU/3/15 Christian Visitation and Instruction Society (Bethnal Green Congregational Church) Account Books
W/BGU/3/16 "Deaconess Fund" Account Books
W/BGU/3/17 Treasurers correspondence
W/BGU/3/18 Payslips
W/BGU/4/1 Minister's correspondence
W/BGU/4/2 Secretary's correspondence
W/BGU/5/1 Church Engagements Books
W/BGU/6/1 Church Organ
W/BGU/6/2 Church Boiler
W/BGU/6/3 Insurance
W/BGU/6/4 Planning
W/BGU/7/1 Manse Flat
W/BGU/7/2 Site plans
W/BGU/8/1 Annual Reports
W/BGU/8/2 Church Magazines
W/BGU/8/3 Orders of Service
W/BGU/8/4 General and Miscellaneous Printed Matter
W/BGU/9/1 Records of Bruce Road Congregational Church, Bromley-by-Bow
W/BGU/9/2 Records of East London Congregational Mission/District
W/BGU/9/3 Records of The East London Committee of the Presbyterian Church
W/BGU/9/4 Records of Peasley Cross Congregational Church, Yorkshire

Click the PDF icon to browse descriptions to this collection in PDF format.
Extent89 files, 47 volumes and 90 items
AdminHistoryAdministrative History
The Church was probably founded in 1662 by Rev. Thomas Walton, a minister ejected from the Church of England and the Church was known as "The Bethnal Green Meeting" or the "Bethnal Green Independent Chapel". This meeting house was situated next to "The Green Man" public house in Cambridge Heath Road.

The meeting house was subsequently known as Kello's Meeting House after the Rev. John Kello, a prominent member and pastor of the Church in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He served the Church for 56 years as its Pastor, and died in 1827, four months after suffering a fit in its pulpit and was buried at Bunhill Fields cemetery.

The meeting house moved to new premises 8 years before Rev. Kello's death to a location further south in Cambridge Heath Road at the junction with Birkbeck road.

Rev Josiah Viney became Pastor of this new meeting house in 1843 and immediately found that larger premises were needed and a piece of land was purchased at a cost of £1519 16s 3d situated in Bethnal Green Road. A Church was built on this land in 1850 at a cost of £7287 12s and the Church became known as the "Bethnal Green Road Congregational Church".

The Church was built in a Gothic style and had a lofty spire some 125 feet in length, this was eventually removed in November 1946 at a cost of £200 due to war damage. A school room was situated underneath the Church which was large enough to seat 500. The Church itself could seat 1200.

The Church flourished during the 1850's being the only Congregational place of worship in the district, but soon two other Congregational Churches started; Rev Northrope built Approach Road Church near Victoria Park and Cambridge Heath Church started in 1861. As well as these churches taking some of the members of Bethnal Green Road Congregational Church, many of its members who become more affluent migrated to the suburbs and so membership of the Church suffered.

Bethnal Green Congregational Church became Bethnal Green United Reformed Church in 1974 when Congregational and Presbyterian Churches merged.
Related MaterialA small number of pamphlets, cuttings and photographs are held in the Local History Library.
The records date from 1839. Earlier records are held at The National Archives consisting of registers of Births and Baptisims 1704 - 1755 (RG4/4177) and 1771 - 1836 (RG/4137) and Baptisims, 1845 - 1858. Microfilm copies of the first two of these are available in the Local History Library together with indexed transcripts.
Access StatusOpen
Access_ConditionsMaterial within this collection has been closed under current Data Protection legislation as the records concerned contain sensitive personal data. Please check specific item level descriptions for details, and refer any queries to the Heritage Officer (Archives).
RequestNO - This does not represent a physical document. Please click on the reference number and view list of records to find material available to order at file or item level.


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