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Bedford St Cuthbert
BEDFORD ST. CUTHBERT
[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"BEDFORD ST. CUTHBERT, a parish in the town of Bedford."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013
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- Church of England
- St. Cuthberts church, on the east side of the town, and so named in honour of St. Cuthbert of Durham, is said to have been founded by Offa, King of Mercia, A.D. 772, and, if so, would be the oldest existing ecclesiastical foundation in Bedford: the former building, consisting of a small nave and chancel under one roof, with a bell turret, was replaced in 1847 by the present edifice, which is of stone, in the Transition style, and was built at a cost of £2,100, on the site of the ancient church, erected in the 8th century: the church, which stands in a pretty and well-planted churchyard, consists of chancel, nave, aisles, transepts and a low but massive central tower, containing a bell : at the end of the north transept is a clock: the church has been twice enlarged; first in 1865, when the aisles were built at a cost of £1,600; and subsequently in 1877, when the building was extended westward; a cloister-porch added on the west front, and an organ chamber erected on the north side of the chancel, at a total cost of about £1,350) on the erection of a new organ chamber on the south side of the chancel in 1886, the former chamber was converted into a vestry: the organ, built at the same time, replaced the former organ, built in 1865; the total cost of organ and chamber was £616 : the fittings of the church are of solid oak, obtained from Chicheley Park, Bucks: the east window is stained, and contains a figure of St. Cuthbert; several other stained windows have been presented to the church as memorials: the communion plate includes an ancient silver chalice and a modern service, presented by Mr. T. Wooldridge: the brass lectern was the gift of the late Ald. Horsford, who also left a legacy in money, which has been expended in the erection of a massive oak screen between the chancel and the vestry, and in other improvements. The register dates from 1607, and contains, among other details of interest, the record of the baptism of a child of John Bunyan, who was sometime a parishioner of St. Cuthberts: Christ Church, in Castle road, a chapel of ease to St. Cuthberts, erected in 1883, at a cost of £1,150, is an iron structure: the organ was enlarged in 1887 at a cost of £65, and there are three stained windows with figures of saints : the church affords 1,200 sittings. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £170, including 17½ acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held since 1897, by the Rev. William Frederick Lindesay D.A. of Merton College, Oxford. The rectory house stands in its own, grounds in St. Cuthberts street, near the church; and opposite is a school used both on Sundays and week days. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
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