Congregational Church / Independent Chapel

In 1816, the small group of Congregationalists in Winslow purchased a barn on Horn Street to use for religious worship. It was fitted out as a chapel, capable of seating 250 people. In 1829, the Congregationalists bought further land nearby to extend the barn with the intention of rebuilding their chapel and adding a vestry and schoolroom.

A transcription of the Congregational registers, with lists of members and abstracts of some minutes, is now available from the Eureka Partnership.

Arthur Clear: A Thousand Years of Winslow Life (1888), p.19

On Wednesday, April 10th, 1816, a building which was originally a barn, situate in Great Horn Street, having been purchased of Mr. Edmund Cox, and considerably altered, was opened as an Independent Chapel. It is described as being a neat chapel, capable of holding about 250 persons and costing £300. For some time previous to this, the Independents had been granted the use of the Baptist Chapel on alternate Sundays; but their growing numbers necessitated, a larger building and more frequent services. It would seem that even in. those days our Independent friends were rather aspiring, for this "neat building" did not long suffice, it being pulled down, and replaced by a more pretentious structure in 1829, of which the following account is given in the Evangelical Magazine of 1830 - "A neat and commodious new Independent Chapel, with School-room and Vestry, capable of containing upwards of 300 persons, was opened for Divine Service at Winslow, on Tuesday, May 4th, 1830. The Chapel is vested in trustees, and built upon the most economical plan, the cost being about £600, of which £400 has already been raised."

Manor court, 26 Oct 1816

Surrender: Edmund Cox late of Bunhill Row cooper, now of Winslow gent on 24 July 1816
Consideration: £150
Admission: George Hawley of Winslow grocer & tallow chandler + Robert Ivatts of Winslow grocer & tallow chandler
All that west end of a barn (lately converted into a chapel or dissenting meeting house) in Great Horn Street formerly occupied by Ferdinando Southam, afterwards John Cox & Jane Cox deceased, lately by Edmund Cox.  And so much of the leanto with the eaves drops as adjoins the said west end of the said barn.

Special court, 28 Aug 1823

Surrender: Joseph Burton sr of Tottenham High Cross brickmaker, by Thomas Rawbone of Winslow gent his attorney by power of attorney of 21 July 1823
Admission: George Hawley of Winslow grocer & tallow chandler, Thomas Burton of Hayes brickmaker & Rev. Thomas Palmer Bull of Newport Pagnell by Thomas Rawbone their attorney
Eastward part of a barn in Great Horn Street formerly in the occupation of Ferdinando Southam, afterwards John Cox, Jane Cox & Edmund Cox, late Thomas Dunston, George Mitchell & John Dunston, now Charles Willis, standing near the gatehouse formerly of Henry Stuchbury, afterwards Thomas Bowler, now William Bowler + leanto with eaves drops.
Joseph Burton was admitted in 1821 on surrender of Thomas Dunston et al.  Rent 3d, fine 15s.


Pastors of the Congregational Church


To the Editor of the Buckingham Advertiser and North Bucks Free Press (27 April 1895)
SIR, -  In reminiscences of the Old Baptist Meeting House, Winslow, by Mr Matthews, he says, "About the year 1816,  the Independents fitted up a Chapel for themselves, &c."  The below confirms what he says, and will interest many of your readers.  I take it from the Evangelical Magazine, 1816, page 317.
Yours,
EDWARD FRANCIS.
Stow-on-the-Wold,
April 23rd, 1895.
__________
April 10th [1816].  A neat chapel capable of seating 250 persons was opened at Winslow, Bucks.  In the morning, Mr Harrison, of Wooburn, preached on psalm, 89, 15, 16; in the afternoon, Mr Aston, of Buckingham, from Haggai, 2, 9; and in the evening Mr Bull, of Newport Pagnell, from psalm, 118, 25.  In the spring, of last year, a plan was carried into effect by two individuals of the Rev. D. Aston's congregation, here resident, for introducing the gospel into their town; and the students from Mr Bull's academy were procured every other Sabbath.  The place in which they preached being much too small for the congregation.  This building has been purchased, and fitted up at the expense of £300; of which £100 has been raised, and the religious public must be appealed to for the remainder.       


The Autobiography of Joseph Mayett of Quainton 1783-1839, ed. Ann Kussmaul (Bucks Record Society vol.23), p.75

In the month of April 1822 my youngest brother [Thomas Mayett] returned home again and he had been in the habit of attending the independant Meeting in Winslow and had been regularly to the ordinance with them
[The Mayetts were Baptists at Quainton, but General rather than Particular, which is presumably why Thomas didn't join the Winslow Baptists.]


This announcement presumably refers to the Congregational Chapel. The Act which it mentions was the Places of Religious Worship Act 1812.

Northampton Mercury, 5 July 1828
WHEREAS I, the Undersigned, JOSEPH PURSELL, of the Town of BUCKINGHAM, Tailor, did, on SUNDAY the 25th Day of May last, disturb by indecent and improper Behaviour the Rev. E. Adey, and the Congregation assembled for Divine Worship in the Dissenting Chapel at Winslow, whereby I have, by an Act passed in the 52d Year of the late King, incurred a Penalty of £40, or Imprisonment until the same be paid.  The Prosecutor, with the Consent of the Magistrate, having kindly agreed to drop the Prosecution on Condition of my making this public Confession and Apology, and of my contributing a certain Sum to be disposed of to charitable Purposes, I do therefore most humbly beg Pardon of the said Rev. E. Adey and the Congregation whom I so grossly insulted, and do faithfully Promise not to be guilty of a like Offence.
JOS. PURSELL.
1st July, 1828.

The first Congregational Chapel The photo shows the 1829 Congregational Chapel before the rebuilding of 1884

26 October 1829: Centre for Bucks Studies D 82/4/498

Surrender: George Hawley of Winslow grocer and tallow chandler and Hannah his wife and
James Todd of Winslow cabinet maker
Admission: Rev Thomas Palmer Bull of Newport Pagnell
Rev Enoch Barling of Buckingham
Thomas Lomath of Winslow cordwainer

18

So much and such part and parts of the yard and Garden adjoining and belonging to a Messuage or Tenement situate standing and being in a certain Street called Great Horn Street in Winslow aforesaid lately occupied by William Bailey and since converted into two tenements now in the occupation of the said William Bailey and John Lomath as will be required to enable the Trustees of the Independent Chapel in Winslow aforesaid to enlarge the said Chapel and the ground thereunto belonging according to certain plans lately agreed upon and intended forthwith to be carried into effect, the Wall of such new Chapel or of the Vestry Room thereto belonging to be considered as the Boundary or the Premises intended to be hereby surrendered on one side thereof such wall to be built 37 feet in length in a straight line from the street at a sufficient distance from the said tenement occupied by the said John Lomath so as to leave not less than 4 feet of ground in width between such wall and the chimney of the said last mentioned tenement and the back wall of the Vestry Room (which is to be erected in a direct line from the back Corner of the first mentioned Wall being agreed upon as part of the Boundary of the said premises intended to be hereby surrendered on the other side thereof from the Corner of which said Vestry Room to the Malting of William Bowler a boarded fence is to be put up at the expense of the said Trustees for the purpose of completing the division of the said premises intended to be hereby surrendered from the premises reserved by the said George Hawley and James Todd such boarded fence to be continued in a straight line from the Corner of the Vestry Room so as to leave for the said George Hawley and James Todd their heirs and assigns a piece of ground between such fence and the garden occupied by Robert Bowden of equal width with the piece of Ground which will after the erection of the said New Chapel according to the Restrictions aforesaid be left between such Garden and the back wall of the Vestry Room And also full and free right of ingress egress and regress way and passage into through and over the ground reserved by the said George Hawley and James Todd to and from a door intended to open into the said New Chapel on the side nearest the said Tenement in the occupation of the said John Lomath and likewise to and from a door or gate intended to open into the premises hereby surrendered on the side nearest the garden occupied by the said Robert Bowden at or near the extremity of the proposed new Vestry Room to which said premises or Tenement ... the said George Hawley and James Todd were admitted 27 October 1823 on the surrender of John Nicholls.


Bicester Herald, 23 Jan 1885
... The Independents [who previously used Keach's Meeting House] found it necessary for them to have a place of their own, and accordingly on April 10th, 1816, they opened a neat little chapel in Horn street, capable of seating 250 persons and costing about £300.  The Rev. D. W. Aston, of Buckingham, and T. P. Bull, of Newport Pagnell, were the preachers on this occasion.  The first pastor was the Rev. J. Wilson, who commenced his labours on June 30th, 1816.  This building did very well for a time, but not having been originally built for the purpose was found to be inadequate to the wants, and principally through the exertions of the Rev. Joseph Denton, a new chapel, seating 300, with schoolroom and vestry, was built on the old site, at an expense of £600.  This was opened on May 4th, 1830, the Revs. Andrew Reed, of London, and J. Davies, of Totteridge, preaching the sermons. 

Baptist Magazine 1830, 347
WINSLOW BUCKS A neat and commodious New Independent Chapel with school room and vestry capable of containing upwards of 500 persons was opened for divine worship at Winslow Bucks on Tuesday May 4th 1830. The Rev DW Aston of Buckingham read the Scriptures and prayed, the Rev Andrew Reed of London preached from Luke ix 56 and the Rev E Barling of Buckingham offered the concluding prayer of the morning service. In the afternoon the Rev W Gunn of Aylesbury read and prayed, the Rev James Davies of Totteridge preached from 1 Tim i 15, the Rev E Adey of Leighton concluded by prayer. In the evening the Rev Peter Tyler of Haddenham read the Scriptures and prayed, the Rev Thomas P Ball [Bull] of Newport Pagnell preached from Heb iv 12, the Rev W Ratcliff of Marsh Gibbon offered the concluding prayer. Messrs Spencer, Madgin and Boaz students of Newport Academy gave out the hymns The chapel is vested in trustees and built upon the most economical plan, the cost being about £600 of which 400 has already been raised. In the year 1816 a barn was purchased and fitted up for worship; it became necessary to take down this frail building and on its site the present chapel and schoolroom are erected. The Rev J Denton formerly of Mill Wall Poplar has accepted an invitation to occupy this department of the Lord's vineyard and has entered upon his labours with pleasing prospects of usefulness

Rev. Joseph Denton, who was minister from 1830, died in 1840. In 1838 he tried unsuccessfully to get permission to hold a weekly service in the Workhouse (read more).

Banbury Guardian, 7 Oct 1847
TEA MEETING.  On Monday afternoon, September the 27th, the members and friends of the Independent Chapel in this town held a tea meeting in the school room, previous to the departure of their minister, the Rev. George Hinde;  from the scene of his pastoral labourers amongst them, which has been a period of seven years.  The flock of the Rev. gentleman, are at present left upon the mountains, destitute of a spiritual guide, to direct them in their devious course. The financial state of the church, moreover, indicates an ebbing tide.

Rev. T.B. (Thomas) Attenborough was installed as minister in 1848.

Bucks Advertiser and Aylesbury News, 14 Sep 1850
  A marriage under the new act amongst Protestant Dissenters took place at Winslow, for the first time, on Wednesday, September the 4th, at the Independent Chapel.  The parties were Mr. James Walker and Miss A. H. [Ann Hazzard] Hinton, of Winslow.  A form of service similar in many respects to that adopted by the Church of England was impressively read by the Rev. T. B. Attenborough.  The declarations required by law to be made in the presence of the registrar were then attended to, a suitable prayer was offered, and the assembly dispersed with that decorum and order which it is hoped will characterise such proceedings, whether within the pale of the establishment or amongst those who conscientiously differ from it.

Religious Census, 1851: there was capacity for 290 and an evening attendance of 260.

Oxford Chronicle, 4 Oct 1856
The Rev. T. B. Attenborough, dissenting minister, concluded his ministerial labours in this town on Sunday last, selecting for his text on the occasion – “Finally, brethren, farewell,” which was attended by a large congregation.  He has been eight years and a half in this his first sphere of usefulness.  A subscription list is in course of circulation amongst the members of his late church and congregation, for the purpose of presenting him with a testimonial of their esteem.  The vicar of the parish, the Rev. W. W. McCreight, manifested his christian liberality and catholic spirit by placing his name for 2 guineas, D. T. Willis, Esq., £1, and many others, members of the Church of England, showed a like respect.  In short, it is rare to find a minister resigning his trust where a feeling of such almost universal respect prevails, as in the retirement of the Rev. T. B. Attenborough, from the field of his labours at Winslow.

Oxford Chronicle, 21 March 1857
  A majority of the members and congregation of the Dissenting Church, Winslow, have formally invited the Re. J. Fog, of Easington-lane, near Durham, to become their future pastor, and which has been duly accepted by the latter, whose reply was read publicly to the congregation on Sunday last, by the officiating minister, at the instance of Mr. J. L. French, the junior deacon.  The choice, however, is adverse to the wishes of an influential minority, and may, it is feared, somewhat shake the integrity and prosperity of the dissenting cause in that place.
               Debating long, in conclave met,
                  At last they onward jog,
               Divide,---and then, with sore regret,
                  They settle in a Fog.

Bucks Chronicle, 19 May 1858
  AMERICAN SLAVERY.- On Wednesday evening last, Mr. William Craft, an escaped slave from Macon, in the state of Georgia, gave a lecture in the Independent Chapel, at this place (which was very kindly offered him for the occasion), on American slavery, and his own and wife’s escape therefrom.  The lecturer gave a very accurate and sober account of slavery and its taskmasters; also a vivid account of the incidents attending his own escape, some of which, though serious enough to him at that time, created a little harmless mirth from the audience, which was large.  A collection was made at the close of the lecture, amounting to £2: 5—the object being to purchase the freedom of his sister, who is still in slavery.  Mr. Joshua Lewin French occupied the chair.

Buckingham Advertiser, 6 July 1859
DEAR SIR, - Will you permit me through you to lay before the Public a few facts connected with the Sunday School at Winslow.
The present room is uncomfortably crowded every Lord’s Day.  The teachers are reluctantly compelled to refuse applications for admission.  They wish to enlarge their borders, and would do so immediately if they had the means.
To raise the School Room another story, with fittings, &c., would cost near £90.  We cannot raise this sum amongst ourselves; - to others we look for help. Perhaps some of your readers, the friends of Sunday Schools, would, by a donation, strengthen the hands that are weak.
Yours truly,
            JOHN FOGG.

Buckingham Advertiser, 6 April 1861
To the Editor of the Buckingham Advertiser.
  SIR,- Is Christianity ever to be the scoff of the world because of the failings of its teachers and professors?  Yet, even in this our Christian land, there are persons and places which give too much reason for these scoffings.
  At Winslow, in the Independent Chapel, on Sunday morning last there were five persons in the chapel, and the Sunday scholars with some of the teachers, in the gallery!
  Can it be that the minister believes he is doing God service (when such a state of things exists) by remaining in a place where he is doing harm rather than good, by putting a stumbling-block in the way, and causing the religion of Jesus to be evil spoken of.
  I should not thus write, if the people of this place of worship had not in a manner becoming Christians, urged and offered inducements for the person who now holds possession of the pulpit to resign, as they no longer wish him to minister to them in holy things.
  In former times, a goodly number of persons attended to hear the Word of God in this place; and I believe, even now, this House of God might again be filled, if an earnest-minded man - a true follower of the lowly Jesus - were to come amongst this people; but that is impossible until the present minister resigns; so that lamentable as the fact is, nevertheless, it is true,- that the people are wandering hither and thither as a flock having no shepherd.              
                                                           I am yours truly,
                                                                           A HEARER.

Bicester Herald, 27 Sep 1861
  WIINSLOW CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL.- The gentleman who for so long a time has held the pulpit in this place of worship, against the will of the people constituting the church, has at last surrendered.  The Church [i.e. Church of England] people, it is said, sympathising with the gentleman, had just completed a good subscription on his behalf when he resigned.  We understand that the Independents, in demonstration of their thankfulness, have opened a subscription list too, and have already outstripped their Episcopalian friends in their liberality.  It is only just to this people to say, what they have now done, they were willing to do six months ago, and to a greater extent.  Doubtless there will be a speedy return to, and a happy in-gathering, within this House of God, of those whose fathers worshipped there!  May God direct and defend his people, and they learn to value more their religious privileges, and watch over them with prayerful anxiety. – Winslow Telegraph.

Bucks Herald, 30 Jan 1864
  CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL.- A very large gathering of the members and friends took place in the Chapel and School-room on Tuesday, the 26th inst., to commemorate the induction of the Rev. W. S. Rae to the ministry of this place of worship.  About 160 partook of tea, which was provided on the occasion, when a purse, containing £5 5s., subscribed by the young people belonging to the chapel, was presented to the new pastor, as a New Year’s gift, by Mr. George D. E. Wigley, who delivered a short address on presenting the same, which was briefly acknowledged by the rev. gentleman in appropriate terms.

Mr Rae was "called to the pastorship" at Dartmouth in 1867.

Bicester Herald, 6 May 1881
  THE JUBILEE SINGERS AT WINSLOW.- These interesting American vocalists paid their first visit to Winslow on Monday, May 2.  A goodly assemblage mustered at the Congregational Church to listen to the pathetic and stirring melodies said to have been sung by the jubilee singers while in slavery, and no one can safely say that anything in any way resembling these weird and peculiar hymns have ever been previously heard in Winslow.  Every piece was enthusiastically applauded, the greatest favourite being “Hard trials and tribulation,” which was partly repeated.  Mr. Day, the chapel organist, kindly obliged with several pieces on the organ during the intervals between the parts.

Bicester Herald, 22 Sep 1882
 WINSLOW CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH JUBILEE.
A NEW CHAPEL PROJECTED.
  The Congregationalists of Winslow celebrated what was intended to be their jubilee on Tuesday, Sept. 19.  It appears that the church itself was formed in 1819, and the present building erected in 1829; but three years ago, when the half century had been reached the church was without a pastor, and nothing of a special nature was undertaken to celebrate the event.  It has now been decided that an effort shall be made to raise funds for building a new place of worship, and that the existing building shall be converted into a schoolroom.  Certainly this work has not been taken in hand before it was needed, the present building being anything but comfortable, filled as it is with the old-fashioned straight-back pews, and it was not at all difficult to coincide with a remark made en passant by the Rev. J. Riordan, who stated that he had never sat in the pews but twice, and it would not cause him much regret if he never sat in them again.  In these days of advancement, when everything is being done to make persons as comfortable as possible during their sojourn on the earth, it is very desirable that places of worship should be made as attractive as possible.  It can no more be expected that the present and the rising generation will be satisfied with accommodation in churches and chapels, which were considered sufficient for their fore-fathers, than they would consent to go back to the days of stage wagons or the so-called flying coaches.  The new place of worship projected by the Winslow Congregationalists is, we believe, to be built in the rear of the present edifice upon ground belonging to the church, and we sincerely wish our Winslow friends success in their spirited undertaking.
  The proceedings of Tuesday commenced with a public meeting in the afternoon, which was presided over by Mr. W. JOHNSON, Mayor of Banbury, who, after a hymn had been sung, and prayer offered by the Rev. F. J. FELTHAM, made a few introductory remarks, and then called upon the pastor to give an epitome of the history of the church during the past fifty years, its present condition, and their intentions as to the future.
  The Rev. J. RIORDAN said he scarcely expected to be called upon to give the history of the church for the period which had been mentioned by the Chairman, and in attempting it he did so with fear and trembling.  The materials from which he could gather any information were not of the most voluminous description, and he was afraid he could scarcely do more than glance re the names of some of the pastors of the church, the position of the church now, and what they hoped for the future.  Since they had announced their jubilee services, some of them, whose bump of curiosity was largely developed, might have been looking at the date which was in the front of the building.  In reality, the jubilee ought to have been celebrated some three years ago, for the chapel was built in 1829…
 The first pastor was a Mr. Wilson, who came from Mr. Ball’s seminary at Newport Pagnell, and he did a great deal towards establishing the church and, after a good number of years he left it in a fairly flourishing condition.  After some interregnums Mr. Attenborough followed, and it was not so very long back since that gentleman came.  He was a big burly man with a voice like the rolling of distant thunder.  He laboured for some time amongst them, and was a man of great weight and power, who managed to get the attention of the people and who always spoke as though he had something to say.  The next he believed was his (the speaker’s) immediate predecessor Mr. Wesley Spurgeon Rae , who was an Irishman of the Irish, and who, he hoped, was worthy of the names by which he was called, for if such were the case he must have been a very good man indeed. That gentleman was not known to the speaker for he left the church about 15 or 16 years ago, and until about a year since the church was without a pastor.  They would then see that the church had had, during the past 50 years, various vicissitudes and changes of fortune.  When he was invited to become their pastor it struck him very forcibly that a church which had held together during that time withal those changes must have something good in it, which had kept it from breaking asunder.  That was a rough sketch of the past, and he had told them as much, if not more than he found written in the history of the church.  Some twelve months ago he came among them with a certain amount of fear, though there were some things which made him joyful, and he thought he might venture to say that during the past year things had been fairly prosperous with them.  The congregations had certainly increased, and were increasing, though, of course, they would fluctuate.  It had become a sort of tradition amongst them that various attempts had been made to renovate the place.
  There were also other things connected with the building which needed repairing.  Then again their Sunday school would have to be enlarged.  They had 120 or 130 children in the school, and doubtless other would attend if they could provide accommodation for them… After considering the matter they concluded that it would cost as much, if not more, to build a new school and class-room, and to thoroughly renovate the chapel, as it would to build a new chapel.  A great many of their friends had associations connected with that building; they could not have connected with a place for fifty years without having associations connected with the structure, and whilst one was not always inclined to pay much respect to feelings of that kind there were times when they ought to be respected.  These friends who had those feelings would naturally feel disinclined to make any great and extensive alterations in the present building, as he thought that, if they could utilise the present chapel as a schoolroom instead of building one, they might build a new chapel, which would not cost more than it would to renovate the present chapel and erect a new schoolroom.  At their annual meeting this year it was decided that such a step should be taken, and at a church meeting held afterwards about £330 was promised.  It was estimated that the proposed work would cost £1,000, and now that £330 had been promised by a few friends in a church meeting, he thought that another £330 should be promised before they commenced the work, and he would not consent to the work being undertaken until that amount was forthcoming, exclusive of what might be raised by bazaars during the progress of the work, and of what might be obtained at the laying of the foundation stone or at the opening of the building.  He urged them to use every effort themselves, and get their friends at a distance to do as much as possible, and he hoped that during the next fifty years they would write a history of the new building which would be as great, good and noble a the history of the present one. (Applause.)

Buckingham Advertiser, 23 Sep 1882
CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH JUBILEE. – On Tuesday Sept 19th, services were held in celebration of the jubilee of the above place of worship, and as it had been announced from the pulpit, that a statement would be made respecting the new chapel, considerable interest was manifested in the proceedings.  William Johnson, Esq., Mayor of Banbury, presided.  The meeting was opened with prayer, by the Rev. F. J. Feltham, of Winslow, (Baptist), and after a few appropriate remarks from the chairman, the Rev. J. Riordan, pastor, gave a brief epitome of what had been done in the church during the last 50 years, what they were doing now, and what they hoped to do in the future.  The rev. gentleman stated that the church was first formed there in 1810, the present chapel was built in 1829, and the first pastor was a Mr. Willison who came from Mr. Bull’s College at Newport Pagnell.  Mr. Attenborough and others followed, and the last settled pastor, was a Mr. Wesley Surgeon [=Spurgeon] Rae, of whom the speaker remarked that if he was as good as his name, he must have been a good man indeed.  He left about 15 years ago, since which time they had been without a settled minister, until last year, when he became the pastor.  For some time past, it has been forcibly impressed upon them that it was imperative that a larger and more suitable room must be provided as a Sunday School, as they had 120 children in the school, and doubtless others would attend if they could provide accommodation for them.  At a meeting of the members of the church and congregation, at the beginning of the year, it was proposed that the present chapel should be retained as a schoolroom, and a new Chapel erected.  At that meeting the sum of £350 was promised towards the work.   It was estimated that the new building would cost £1,000 and if they could obtain £350 more then they would commence building.  The chairman said that he was very pleased to be present at that meeting, for he was deeply interested in the cause of Nonconformity.  These were momentous times for the salvation army, and other great religious movements, were stirring the minds of the people, and all non-conformists should take advantage of this for the advancement of their principles.  He hoped that they would succeed in the praiseworthy object which they had in view of building a new chapel, and he should rejoice, if spared to attend at the laying of the foundation stone.  The Revs. H. F. Holmes, of Buckingham, J. D. Davis, of Aylesbury, J. Scott James, of Banbury, W. Faith, of Bicester, and F. J Feltham, of Winslow, also addressed the meeting, which closed with singing the doxology.  Tea was afterwards provided in the Schoolroom, to which about 100 sat down.  In the evening divine service was held in the chapel, and was conducted by the pastor and the Rev. S. Patten, of Thame.  The Rev Henry Simon, of Westminster Chapel, London, had been announced to preach, but was prevented by ill-health, and his place was most ably filled by the Rev. Jno Brown, B.A., of Bunyan Chapel, Bedford, who preached an eloquent sermon from John 12, 24v.  In spite of the extreme inclemency of the evening, there was a large congregation, and the collection at the close on behalf of the Building fund amounted to £8 17s. 2d.


In 1884, a new Congregational Church was built at a cost of 2,400. The new church seated 240 people on the ground floor and 80 in the gallery. There was a Sunday School to the right of the entrance and a large class room on the left. Prominent amongst the church's supporters were George Wigley, land agent, Edwin French, printer and Robert Williat Jones of Blake House, farmer. For more on the building and its architect, see Ed Grimsdale's article on Arthur Clear. A drawing and plan were published in Building News, 16 Jan. 1885 (click on the image below for full size). While the church was being built, the congregation met in the Assembly Rooms at The Bell.

Drawing and plan of the Congregational Church

Arthur Clear: A Thousand Years of Winslow Life (1888), pp.20-1

The new Congregational Church was erected in 1884, on the site of the older building, in Horn Street, the design is based on the lines of the smaller old English Country Parish Churches of the 15th century. The prominent feature is the tower, a square and massive erection, 58 feet in height, surmounted by a weather vane, in the upper part of which is a commodious room 17 feet square, lighted by seven windows, and used as a Sunday School Classroom - this is a peculiar feature of the building, the idea being taken from the watchman's tower at Irthlingborough Church, Northants. The building is lighted with gothic windows filled with cathedral toned glass, the principal one in the tower is very handsome - its dimensions being about 16 feet broad by 18 high, said to be a reduced copy of a celebrated one in York Minster. The building is both artistic and comfortable, and is in marked contrast to the plain and often unsightly structures to which Nonconformists in the country have long been accustomed. It is designed to seat 240 persons on the ground floor and 82 in the gallery. The total cost of its erection with the School rooms, being £2,300.

Plaque: stone laid by Mrs Verney

Mrs Verney (later Lady Verney) was an Anglican but her husband was Liberal M.P. for North Bucks. She came back in 1924 for the unveiling of the new organ.

Bicester Herald, 20 June 1884
NEW CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH AND SCHOOLS AT WINSLOW.
  Activity begets activity; but we question whether Winslow ever saw so much life in religious work as now exists in the place.  The members of the Established Church are engaged in restoring and beautifying their sacred edifice.  Yesterday (Thursday, June 19), the Congregational Dissenters laid the foundation of a church and schools, which, judging from a sketch of the buildings which we have had the privilege of seeing, will bear handsome testimony to the munificence of voluntary effort, and form a worthy addition to the many noble piles of the Free Churches at present existing in the county.  The new building is being erected on the site of the old chapel, somewhat extended by a recent purchase.  It is triangular in shape and somewhat limited in area, so that any of the ordinary ground plans for such buildings were unsuitable.  This apparent difficulty has, however, been utilised by the architect to produce a novel but very compact type of plan, and one which it is believed will possess several advantages over those usually adopted.  A square central tower is to contain the principal entrance, with the Sunday School (now nearly erected) to the right and a large class room to the left, available for infant teaching and as a committee, Dorcas, or prayer meeting room; it will be especially suitable for the latter purpose before or after any services, and being close to the entrance is in a much better position than if placed anywhere to the rear of the building.  The lobby space, though ample, is very compact and economical, and gives a direct access to all parts of the building.  The church is beyond the tower, and is also compactly planned and of moderate height, an essential point to ensure comfort and good acoustic properties.  The end gallery, however, will be in the tower, and will thus be lofty and well ventilated.  The result of this plan will be a building based on the lines of the smaller old English country parish churches of the 18th century, the characteristics of the style being simple window lighting, and in the smaller examples a broad simple effect, to which the square massive tower given an added charm… [Reports of the speeches omitted]
  MRS. VERNEY then placed a sealed jar containing copies of the Daily News, Christian World, and Bucks Advertiser, and a programme of the day’s proceedings, in a cavity in a massive corner stone, and having in a business-like way spread the mortar over the bricks upon which it was about to rest, the stone was lowered into its position, and the mallet was applied to ensure its solidity.  Mrs. Verney then declared, amidst the applause of the company, the stone well and truly laid, and expressed a hope that it would form a portion of a building which would prove a blessing to those who had taken part in its erection, and also to all who would hereafter worship in it.

Bucks Herald, 13 Sep 1884
  THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.- The Congregationalists of this town, who have for the past four months worshipped at the Bell Assembly-room, on Sunday last took possession of their new School-room, where they will continue to hold Divine service until the completion of the chapel which is in course of erection.  The occasion of opening the school-room (which is a neat buiiding capable of seating about 200, situate to the right of the chapel, and placed sideways to the street), was utilised for holding the annual school services, when the Rev. J. Riordan, pastor, preached morning and evening to good congregations, and in the afternoon gave an address to parents and scholars.  Special hymns were sung by the choir and children during the day, and collections were made on behalf of the school funds.

Bicester Herald, 3 Oct 1884
CONGREGATIONAL BAZAAR AND ENTERTAINMENT AT WINSLOW.
  Commencing on Tuesday, September 23, and terminating on Friday evening, September 26, with a concert, the Congregationalists of Winslow made a vigorous and successful effort to raise funds for their handsome new buildings.  The new schoolroom having been cleared of its seats, &c., a fancy fair was arranged round the sides, a refreshment stall being placed at the end, prominent over which was a very prettily painted text, some 16ft. long, “The gold is mine and the silver is mine.”  The cornice was wreathed with evergreens, as were also the iron staysacross the room,and from the roof were suspended Chinese lanterns.  With these exceptions the neat building was wisely allowed to show its own walls…
  There were five stalls, which were presided over on the right hand by Mrs. Wigley and Miss Prudden – Mrs. Parrett, Miss Parrett, and Miss Hampshire; left hand – Mrs. Hall.. Mrs. S. Jones, and Miss Emmie Lee – Mrs. Riordan, Mrs. Wilmer, and Miss Fluck- Mr. Edwin French, Miss S. W. French, and Miss Elley.  There were also a provision stall, which was presided over by Miss Gifford; a children’s stall presided over by Miss Smith; a flower stall, presided over by Miss Bonham; and a refreshment stall, presided over by Miss Egleton and Miss F. Keys.  The sundry attractions were: Pianoforte solos, musical box, powerful ochestrionette, organette, fairy bells, and a promenade concert in the evening,in which Mrs. Martin Tegg, Miss Day, Miss Langley, Miss Lee, Miss Wigley, and Messrs. Turnham and Day took part.  A bran-pie, a weighing machine, galvanic battery (operated on by Mr. Hurlstone), a realistic Witch of Endor (Mrs. Loffler, whose make-up with an old “coalscuttle” bonnet and a red cloak was so good that she was only recognised by the initiated) and whose abode was thronged each evening by those anxious to have their fortunes told.  There was a printing press, where visitors could have their name printed, and from which the following quaintly worded and got up programme was issued:-
  Ye Programme of ye doings at ye Bazaar in aid of ye New Congregational Churche and Schooles, Winslow, held ye twenty-third and twenty-fourth days of September, MDCCCLXXXIV…
  Ye printing press: whereat ye intelligent visitor may be instructed in ye art of printying by Maister A. J. Clear…
  The attendance on the first two days was excellent, and the hard-working staff of worker must have been gratified with the pecuniary results, which were- Tuesday £37; Wednesday £40; Thursday £30; the net profits amounting to about £117.
  THE CONCERT was held in the School-room, and was extremely successful.  The organ abd piano duets were immensely enjoyed by the lovers of harmonious music, and Mr. Fulk’s solos on the Fairy bells were both novel and pleasing…
  The following is the programme:-
Organ and piano duet, Miss Lee and Mr. Day.
Song, “Sooner or Later,” Mrs. Martin Tegg.
Song, “Jack’s Yarn,” Mr. W. H. Stevens.
Song, “The Song and the Singer,” Miss Day.
Reading from Mark Twain, the Rev. J. Riordan.
Song, “The Blue Alsatian Mountains,” Miss Langley.
Piano solo, “Spinnlled,” Miss Lee.
Song, “The Outpost,” Mr. W. Turnham.
Song, “Laddie,” Mrs. Martin Tegg.
Organ and piano duet, “Der Preyachutz,” Miss Lee and Mr. Day.
Song, “The Old Cathedral,” Miss Day.
Song, “The Skipper and his boy,” Mr. W. H. Stevens.
Reading from Valentine Vox, Mr. A. S. Midgley.
Song, “Forget, Forgive,” Miss Langley.
Performance on the Fairy Bells, Mr. Fulks.
Song, “Golden Love,” Mrs. Martin Tegg.
Reading, “A Saturday Concert,” Mr. Coxill.
Song, “The Red Scarf,” Mr. W. Turnham.
Song, “The Artist’s Dream,” Miss Day.
“God Save the Queen.”

If you compare the site of the church on large-scale maps before (left) and after (right) rebuilding, you can see that it moved slightly westwards. Blue = chapel / church, green = chapel land, red = buildings demolished in the 1880s. Some of the new site previously belonged to William Bowler, as well as 9 Horn Street which was later acquired by the Congregationalists and used as the Manse.

Map showwing the chapel before and after rebuilding

Buckingham Advertiser, 24 Jan 1885

OPENING OF THE NEW CONGREGATIONAL
CHURCH AND SABBATH SCHOOLS.

The Rev. J. Riordan (pastor) and the Church and congregation of Winslow, are to be congratulated upon the success of their effort in the erection of a handsome sanctuary and new Sabbath Schools.  This has not been accomplished without anxious thought, work, and liberal assistance, and it was highly gratifying to witness the large assemblage of friends from far and near to rejoice with the Church at Winslow, in their opening services on Tuesday, January 20th.   The new buildings are erected on the site of the old chapel, the area having been somewhat extended.  A square central tower contains the principal entrance, with the Sunday schoolroom to the right, and a large class-room to the left.  The lobby space though ample is very compact and economical, and gives a direct access to all parts of the building.  The church itself is beyond the tower, and will seat 240 persons on the ground floor and 82 in the gallery, giving a total of 322 seats.  It is of moderate height, with open timbered roof, thus ensuring comfort and also good acoustic properties, and the gallery is lofty and well ventilated, presenting a pleasant contrast to the necessarily stuffy and contracted character galleries usually possess, if confined within the low main roof of the church.  The whole characteristics of the style of the edifice are ample window lighting, and in the smaller examples a broad simple effect to which the massive square tower gives an added charm.  The idea of the tower was suggested to Mr. Sulman by the watchman’s room in the old tower of Irthlingborough church, in Northhants., and in the upper stage is provided an additional class-room 17 feet square (with an open fire place), and with access by a stone stair-case.  The pulpit platform is central, with a vestry to the rear, and on this day some choice greenhouse plants were placed on either side of the communion table.  The organ is placed in a chamber on the south side, and in connection with the choir.  The glazing is very attractive, being of ornamental lead lights, and the lobby screen and porch are framed in wood, and also glazed.  The edifice is heated by Gill stoves, and the ventilation throughout is in the most improved style.  The school will seat 100 adults, and the class-room 42, giving a total of 142.  The usual entrance to the school is at the south end, but there is also a connection with the front porch and gallery.  Every inch of ground has been utilised, as shown by the fact that under the gallery staircase is placed a small boiler for tea meetings, and here also fuel is stored.  The building is triangular in shape, and being somewhat limited in area, none of the ordinary ground plans were suitable;  but this difficulty has, however, been overcome by the architect, who has produced a novel, and at the same time, compact building, which it is believed will possess several advantages over those usually adopted, the result being a design based upon the lines of the smaller Old English country parish churches of the 15th century, – perhaps the greatest Church building period (in respect of proportion to the population,) our country has experienced, for it was then that the people as distinguished from the monastic orders, most fully made their influence felt, and built Churches for themselves, and to suit their own requirements.  The entire cost has been about £2,600, of which about £1,000 remains to be cleared off.  The buildings are from the designs of Mr. John Sulman, F.R.I., B.A.; architect, of 1, Furnival’s Inn, Holborn, K.C., the builders being Messrs. Yirell and Edwards, of Leighton Buzzard.

  … Mr. Sylvanus Jones desired to say a few words, and said he almost recollected the old place being pulled down, in fact he recollected the early erection of its successor.  And now they had this grand edifice, the outcome of hard work and kind liberality, and he was glad to notice that they had present that day representatives from the four Counties of Bedford, Cambridge, Oxford and Buckingham. (Applause.)  They might look where they would but would fail to find four better counties – (applause) – and the reporters present could bear him out that Winslow was becoming familiar to them, - (laughter) – and through the Press becoming renowned for its religious
characteristics and progress.  (Applause).  He then referred to associations, including his friendly knowledge of the Rev. Jos. Ball and Mr. Morgan, and passed on to his love of independent worship, and thought that it was as well occasionally to see and hear how the other denominations, politically and religiously, were progressing.

– The Pastor then called upon W. H. French, Esq., J.P., of Buckingham, to say a word about the work of Congregationalism in the past.  – Mr. French said their respected Chairman and pastor of the Church and congregation had sent him a slip of paper hoping that he would say something about Congregationalism at Winslow.  (Applause).  Well he thought that meeting that day was a pretty fair specimen and testimony of the Congregationalism of Winslow, for he expected there was not one in that large, respectable and nice assembly who had come there without goodwill towards the good work being done there.  (Applause)  However to him at his time of life retrospect was rather the thing.  He was at the opening of the first Chapel at Winslow, that was dedicated to independent members, in the year 1816.  He had not reached his ‘teens then; but came to school at Winslow, and he attended the opening of the little Chapel, which was a barn converted into a chapel, and in which the old beams had been nearly encased with deal.  He was very sorry he could not give them the name of the preacher, but as he was then only 9 years of age they knew that boys were not to apt to remember the preacher’s name as other matters connected with the opening.  But he often attended the chapel, and recollected the name of Wilson, and also more distinctly the honoured name of Jones.  And now they had this beautiful building and he was reminded of the words over the head chair, “The gold is Mine, and the silver is Mine”; but how often they considered the gold and silver in their pockets was their own, and they forgot to deal liberally with such objects as this.  Here they had it appeared exceeded their income, and desired pecuniary aid to wipe off the debt, and he trusted that the amount of money which would be collected that day would make a considerable impress upon the debt incurred;  but he implored them not to get into mortgages.  (Applause.)

.. The Pastor the called upon Mr. Jas. and Mr. John Morgan, of Cambridge, to say a few words. – Mr. James Morgan said he was glad to stand before them as the eldest son of the eldest member of that Christian Church, and apologised for the absence of his aged mother from their gathering that day.  He said there was a legend in their family to the effect that his grandfather carried him up the ladder and placed him upon the top stone of the old chapel, in the year 1829.  During his 25 years’ residence at Cambridge, he had taken an active interest in the cause of Congregationalism, especially Sunday school work;  and in seven weeks they were about to hold the opening service of a new chapel they had erected. – Mr. John Morgan also spoke, and said the name of Winslow was associated to his memory with the most tender ties.  He congratulated pastor and people on the good work done at Winslow.

..  Mr. Geo. D. E. Wigley then rose and said as Chairman of the Building Committee, the pleasure had been afforded him of proposing the next toast, and he wished on behalf of the Building Committee to pay the highest  possible tribute of praise to Mr. Sulman, of Holborn, for the exceedingly great ability and the transcendant beauty which he had by inborn talent of mind and brain produced in that fine building.  (Applause.) He had had to do with various architects in his time, but he thought he could truly say that he never met with a more conscientious one.  And he was pleased to add that the general opinion the building had met with, was of wide-spread approval.  (Applause.) He heard that architects from different parts of the country had spoken of it as perfection on the old lines and true characteristics of gothic architecture.  (Applause.)

.. Mr. Sulman said he was gratified in being present, and referred to the kindness of the Building Committee.  The ground was very awkward, and the first plan he sent down required more ground than appeared to be at their disposal, and he took the hint of the Chairman of the Committee that he must make the best of the ground as it was, and consequently he had to depart from the usual lines, and make designs of an entirely new and original character.  When travelling through the country on a juvenile architect’s tour, he was struck with the attractiveness of the watchman’s tower at Irthlingborough parish church, which he sketched, and it was greatly admired, but he had failed to utilise the value of the sketch till placed in the difficulty as to room at Winslow, and in this tower they now possessed a good class-room.  Speaking as a Non-comformist, he did not see why the Established Church should claim superiority over the Non-comformists in style of architecture - (applause) – and so long as he had the opportunity he should do all he could to raise up in the country edifices worthy their name, and he hoped the form would be followed up by each successive age.  (Applause.) – He desired to say a word in favour of Mr. Walker, clerk of the works, and also to Messrs. Yirrell and Edmonds [Edwards], the builders. (Applause.)

– Mr. Clear said, as secretary, he had pleasure in saying a word for the admirable way in which the ideas of the architect had been carried out.  The whole work had been a labour of love to all concerned.  When the tender had been accepted they were glad to hear that the builders were Congregationalists – (applause) – and what was more, the men in their employ were Non-comformists, and when it came to the decorator he also was a staunch Independent – (applause) – and it was discovered that Mr. Purser had filled the pulpit in the old chapel on several occasions. –

At 3 o’clock service was held in the Church, which was well filled, and extra seats had to be placed.

At 4.30 a public tea was held in the Schoolroom, and owing to the large influx of friends from the neighbourhood during the afternoon, the Schoolroom was found to be totally inadequate to seat the company, and consequently arrangements were made for a second party, and thus the repast was thoroughly enjoyed by the large company, which must have numbered about 300.

Evening service was held in the Church, at 6.30, when the sacred edifice was again densely packed.


CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH AND SCHOOLS, WINSLOW, BUCKS.

AFTER many years of patient waiting and enduring the greatest inconvenience, especially as regards School Accommodation, the Congregationalists of Winslow have at last decided to make a vigorous effort to erect a New Church and Schools, and they earnestly appeal to the generosity of every one interested in the spread of Evangelical Truth in the Rural Districts, to aid them with their contributions.

They submit the following facts - the means of the Congregation are extremely limited, yet their promised subscriptions amount to 800. The total estimated cost, including the site, is 2,000. The Chapel Building Society have approved the work, but can only help by a loan of 200 without interest, thus necessitating 1,200 to be raised

The design of the Building is of the Early 15th Century Gothic. The Tower comprises - on the ground floor the entrance lobbies, in the central part an ample and well ventilated gallery, and the upper a commodious class-room, right and left of the Tower are the New Schools and Classroom, with the Church in the rear. The characteristics of the whole, are ample window lighting, every part of the Building utilised, and nothing built for mere show or effect.

Subscriptions may be sent to either of the undersigned, or can be paid to the account of "The Congregational Church & Schools" at the Bucks and Oxon Union Bank, Winslow.

If preferred, Contributors can specially allot their Donations to the New Church or the Schools.
JOHN RIORDAN, Pastor.
FERDINAND LOFFLER, Treasurer
ARTHUR CLEAR, Secretary.
THE DEACONS.

WINSLOW CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
Treasurers Balance Sheet up to October 1st, 1885.

Cr.
See
£ s d
£ s d
Published By amount of Donations from Members of the Congregation only
830 3 11
Subscription By donations outside Congregation over £1
114 13 3
List. By donations under £1
1 1 0
Receipts from various sources, viz-
Jubilee Service
6 19 2
Stone-laying
62 10 7 ½
Sale of Luncheon Tickets
5 5 0
Net proceeds of Bazaar
120 10 6
Organ Fund
2 5 10
Sunday School Collecting Boxes
4 16 0 ½
Opening Services
35 14 0
Subsequent Collections
21 5 10 ½
Temperance Entertainment and Service of Song
4 0 0
263 7 0
Balance in Debt
1229 10 6
2438 15 8
Audited and found correct—
ARTHUR STEAD MIDGLEY.
ARTHUR JOSEPH CLEAR.
Dr.
£ s d
£ s d
TO LAW COSTS:
To Mr. Henry Small, Costs of Enfranchisement of Copyholds and Bill of Costs
84 0 3
To Messrs W. B. & W. R. Bull, their Bill of Costs for preparing Trust Deeds and obtaining Mortgage
51 11 0
To "Star" Insurance Co. Fees on Mortgage for £900
5 5 0

140 16 3

TO COSTS OF SITE:
To Liberator Building Society, balance of Mortgage on old Cottages
119 4 2
To Mr. W. H. French, Purchase Money of Barns and Premises
30 0 0
To Mr. Geo. Dunkley ditto ditto
100 0 0
249 4 2
TO COST OF NEW BUILDINGS:
To Messrs Yirrell and Edwards amount of Contract and all extras
1838 13 1
TO ARCHITECTS CHARGES:
To Mr. Sulman, his Bill of Charges
107 0 6
TO SUNDRIES:
To Mr. Walker, Bill for pulling down old Buildings and Cottages and putting up Gates, Fence and other Work
32 8 0
Messrs Loffler for sundry Furniture
13 4 4
School-room Seats
12 3 3
Secretary's Incidentals

2 1 4

Bucks and Oxon Bank Interest
13 6 9
To Sundry Payments by Cheque
29 18 0
103 1 0
£2438 15 8


1887: The Nonconformist, 14 April
A cantata in character, “Red Riding Hood’s Rescue,” with “very pretty dresses and tasteful scenery,” was a leading feature in an entertainment given on two evenings at Winslow to reduce the debt on the new buildings.

1887: Bicester Herald, 6 May
  CONGREGATIONAL SOIREE AT WINSLOW.- On Thursday evening, April 28, the members of the Winslow Congregational Young Men’s Society finished up the session by holding a soiree in the Congregational Schoolroom, Winslow.  There were between 70 and 80 members and friends present.  The company included- The Revs. J. Riordan and J. S. Poulton, Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer, and Mr. and Miss Saunders (Great Horwood), Messrs. Midgley, Coxill, Watson, Turnham, Day, A. J. Clear, W. N. Midgley, Hurlstone, Pratt, etc., and a number of ladies.  The Rev. J. Riordan presided, and, in his opening address, gave a resume of the lectures, debates, and other work carried out by the society during the session, and complimented Mr. Hurlstone, the secretary, most heartily on the results.  A lengthy programme, including pianoforte solo, by Miss Wilmer; songs, by Messrs. Saunders and Hurlstone; recitations, by Miss Evans, Mr. W. N. Midgley, and Mr. Turnham, and other features of interest very pleasantly passed the time away.  Refreshments were provided ad lib, presided over by Mrs. Parrett and Mrs. Watson.

1887: Obituary for Mary Morgan, d.1887 aged 90, a prominent Congregationalist

1888: Buckingham Advertiser, 7 Jan
A library in connection with Winslow Congregational Sunday School was started on January 1st.  The necessary funds were derived from a bequest of the late Mr. Joshua Lewin French.

1888: Buckingham Advertiser, 4 Feb
  LECTURE.- At The Congregational Schoolroom, on Tuesday evening last, a practical lecture was given by Mr. William Turnham, on “Our Daily Bread.”  Despite the inclement evening there was a very fair attendance, including the Rev. J. Riordan (who occupied the chair), Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Jones, Miss Reeves and pupils of Brook Hall, Mr. G. D. E. Wigley, Mr. W. H. French, Mr. E. J. French, Mr. J. W. Ingram, Mr. G. Day, &c.  Mr. Turnham started with a humorous account of the probable way in which the art of turning corn into bread was discovered.  He then went through the whole performance of breadmaking on the spot, illustrating his actions by numerous practical remarks, and answerings questions put to him by the audience.  After this he initiated them into the mysteries of “puff paste,” and “short crust,” making jam fingers, mince pies, &c., before their eyes.  These articles were then sent away to the bakehouse, and shortly after 10 came back baked, when those present shewed their appreciation by consuming them, and pronouncing them exceedingly good.  The chairman having conveyed the thanks of the audience to Mr. Turnham, the proceedings closed.  The profits were devoted to the debt fund.

1888: Bucks Herald, 5 May
  CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.- At the close of the morning service, on Sunday last, the Rev. J. Riordan announced that after a ministry of nearly seven years he was shortly about to leave them for another pastorate.  In making the announcement, Mr. Riordan said he had not taken the step without much deliberation, and that let him go where he would he could not expect to receive greater kindness than he had from the friends at Winslow, and although the tie of pastor and people would be severed, yet he trusted there would always remain that of personal friendship.  Mr. Riordan has, we understand, accepted the oversight of a church at Sheerness.

1888: Exhibition of antiquities arranged by Arthur Clear and Rev. J. Riordan.

1888: Buckingham Advertiser, 12 Dec
A cordial invitation from the members of the Church and congregation [has] been made to the Rev. Jno. Pither to fill the pastorate vacated by the Rev. Jno. Riordan ...

1889: Buckingham Advertiser, 17 Aug
WINSLOW CONGREGATIONAL YOUNG MEN’S SOCIETY – MR. GEO. MIDGLEY’S TEAM v. MR. C. INGRAM’S TEAM.
This match was played at Winslow on Monday, August 12, and resulted in favour of Mr. C. Ingram’s team.  Appended are the scores:
Mr. C. Ingram’s Team:
C. Keys, c Coxhill, b White  19
A. Lapper, b Holt  2
W. Yeulett, b White  0
H. A. Hurlstone, c & b Holt  10
C. Ingram, st Colgrove  7
G. Spooner, b White  0
F. Sear, st Colgrove  6
W. Cripps, c Watson, b White 12    
J. Brockless, b Holt  0
C. Clarke, b Holt  0
G. Mayne, b White  5
Mr. Watson, b White  0
J. Walker, b Holt  1
A. Midgley, c Holt, b White  0
F. Watson, not out  1
          Extras  7
                   70

Mr. Midgley’s Team
          1st Innings / 2nd Innings
J.Keys, b Lapper  2 / c Keys, b Lapper  1
W. White, c and b Lapper 4 / b Lapper  2
A. Holt, c and b Ingram  4 / c Yeulett, b Lapper  4
G. Viccars, b Ingram  0 / c Keys, b Lapper  0
G. Midgley, run out  6 / b Ingram  9
D. King, c Midgley, b Ingram  1 / b Lapper  1
A. Colgrove, lbw, b Ingram  2 / b Ingram  1
C. Warner, b Ingram  2 / b Ingram  2
Mr. Coxhill, b Lapper  0 / b Ingram  5
J. Walker, c Mayne, b Ingram  0 / c Lapper, b Keys  3
H Burden, b Ingram  0 / b Ingram  0
E. Fulks, absent  0  / run out  5
C. Watson, lbw, b Ingram  0 / b Ingram 3
F. Edwins, b Ingram  0 / b Lapper  2
H. Dunkley, c Walker, b Ingram  0 / b Ingram  0
S. Warner, not out  1 / run out  2
J. Wilmore, b Ingram  0 / not out  3
          Extras  6        /        9
                     28       /       52

1889: The Nonconformist, 28 Nov
By the death of Mrs. Ann Lee the church at Winslow has lost almost the oldest member, Mrs. Lee having joined the church over 41 years ago.  The funeral ceremony was conducted by Rev. John Pither.
Ann Lee was in fact 67 when she died. She was the wife of Thomas Lee, saddler, and originally from Great Horwood.

1890: Buckingham Advertiser, 9 Aug
Winslow Congregational Sunday School.
ANNUAL FESTIVAL.
  Thursday, July 31st, was a red-letter day in connection with the children’s treat at the Congregational Church, Winslow.  Preparation had been made to have as large a gathering of parents and friends as possible, so as to make the day one of real enjoyment and pleasant associations to all parties.  Two meadows near Cowley’s Walk had been very generously placed at the disposal of the teachers, one belonging to Mr. W. Jones, and the other in the possession of Mr. George Wigley, who also threw open his gardens for use of the visitors and Sunday School.
  The procession left the schoolroom in Horn Street at 2 o’clock, preceded by the Temperance Drum and Fife Band, and soon found its way into Mr. Jones’ meadow, and thence to the Flower Show tent erected in the adjoining paddock.  Here had been skilfully arranged about 100 exhibits of wild flowers, in three divisions, and also pot flowers, which had been in the children’s care for the past three months.  Great pains had evidently been taken in collecting specimens of the wild flowers found in the neighbourhood, whilst the bouquets presented quite a charming appearance, and called forth the admiration of all who saw them.
  The prizes, in the form of useful and entertaining books, were placed on a table at the further end of the tent; whilst the many gifts, in the shape of ties, scarves, handkerchiefs, belts, cups and saucers, and toys for the little ones, were placed at the side.
  Tea was served in a marquee close by, and after the children had done justice to the piles of cake and bread and butter, about 50 friends sat down with the teachers, who had well earned a brief rest, after a day of unusual excitement and labour.
  During the evening sports of various kinds were actively engaged in by the various classes, whilst upwards of 200 people testified by their presence on the grounds their sympathy with the good work.  The whole was brought to a conclusion by a display of fireworks and a balloon.
  Great credit is due to the energy and devotion of the ladies who had laboured indefatigably to make this annual festival a success.  It should be mentioned that all the prizes were presented by members of the congregation and friends.
[List of winners in the sports follows]

1891: Bicester Herald, 20 March
  WINSLOW CONGREGATIONAL MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY.- The closing meeting for the season was held in the Congregational Schoolroom, Winslow, on Wednesday, March 11, Rev. John Pither, presiding.  Mr. E. R. Midgley, secretary and treasurer, gave an account of his stewardship, and at the same time resigned his offices, owing to the fact that he was leaving the town.  The accounts showed a balance of about £3 in hand which was considered most satisfactory, and a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. Midgley with best wishes for his future success.  Mr. Hurlstone accepted the office of treasurer pro tem.


1892: Buckingham Advertiser, 11 June
The Congregational Church held a Whit Monday picnic at the White House (Little Horwood), with a cricket match against the Baptists.
Baptist team (scored 50): W. Ray, T. Ray, C. Carter, A. Benbow, N. Benbow, G. Sivell, G. Turner, Rev. H. K. Byard, W. Benbow, J. Crick, W. Adams
Congregational team (scored 25): W. Yeulett, J. Sear, J. Haynes, J. Gates, W. Turney, W. Midgley, E. Watson, G. Midgley, E. Illing, J. White, G. Mayne

1892: Buckingham Advertiser, 19 Nov: football
BUCKINGHAM LATIN SCHOOL V. WINSLOW CONGREGATIONAL GUILD.
  Played at “Hollow Furrow,” Winslow, on Wednesday, November 16, and resulted in a win of two goals to one for the home team, but was a very level game all through.  Winslow scored one in the first half, the School doing ditto in the second half, and then just before time Winslow got one more.  Teams:-
  Winslow- Centre forward, B. Colgrove; forwards, Sidney Midgley, H. Burdon, G. White, and S. Young; half-backs, Wilfrid French, Stanley Midgley, and T. Young; backs, Geo. Mayne and H. Ray; goal, Cecil Ray.


1894: Buckingham Advertiser, 19 May
  CONGREGATIONAL TENNIS CLUB.- A very successful and enjoyable tennis party was held at the Congregational Tennis Courts on Bank Holiday, when the members and their friends took part in the sets, play commencing in the morning, and continuing all day.  At 5 o’clock, tea was provided in a tent, to which about 30 were present.  The arrangements for the day being carried out by the committee.
[Elsewhere the courts are said to have been at Hollow Furrow]

1894: Buckingham Advertiser, 21 July
  A young men’s Nonconformist Cricket Club has been started, with the Rev. J. Pither as president.

1894: Bucks Herald, 20 Oct
  ...  Evening classes are being held in connection with the Congregational Church  ...

1895: Buckingham Advertiser, 20 April
  HOLLOW-FURROW TENNIS CLUB.- The opening meeting of the season took place at Hollow-furrow ground, on Monday, and was very fairly attended.  In the evening the members partook of tea in the Congregational Schoolroom, and later on a public entertainment was held, consisting of music (singing, violin, piano, fairy bells, etc.), and some amusing guessing and calculating competitions, for which prizes were awarded.

1895: Buckingham Advertiser, 4 May
  BIRTHDAY FESTIVITIES.- On Thursday last, April 25th, Mr. John Elley of this town celebrated the double event of his 80th birthday, and the 50 year of his residence in the town, by a social gathering in the Congregational school-room.  Tea was provided at 6 o’clock, and the tables being set out with flowers presented a very pretty appearance.  About 80 guests sat down, Mr. Elley in the post of honor, and on either side of him were the Rev. John and Mrs. Pither, Rev. G. and Mrs. Thompson (Eastbourne), Mr. E. J. French, Mrs. Wigley, while among others present were Mr. and Mrs. East, Mr. and Mrs. Loffler, Mr. and Mrs. Colgrove, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Clear, Mrs. Clear, senr., Mr. and Mrs. Gourn, Mrs. Egleton, Mr. and Mrs. W. Turnham, Mrs. Turnham senr., Mr. and Mrs. W. N. Midgley, Mr. and Mrs. Buckingham, Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Miss George, Misses S. W. and F. M. French, Miss Grace. Mr. S. Jones, Mr. Fulks, Mr. Whichello, Mr. Illing, Mr. Grummitt, Mr. Corkett, Mr. Coxill, Mr. Jno. Ingram, Mr. George Turner, Mr. Burbury.  After tea an enjoyable time was spent in hearing addresses trom old friends of the host- Mr. S. Jones, Mr. Loffler, Mr. Wigley, Mr. Coxill, Mr. Fulks- when many interesting reminiscences of old times in connection with Winslow and Great Horwood (of which Mr. Elley is a native), and of the Independent cause in these two places were given, as well as two most appropriate addresses be the Rev. J. G. Thompson, and the pastor- one and all congratulating their host on the prolongation of his days, and expressing a wish that he might continue hale and hearty for a still further period.  Mr. Elley briefly replied, thanking all his friends for coming to meet him, and giving a slight sketch of his younger days and the many changes he had seen since as a boy he roamed about the unenclosed village of Great Horwood.  The meeting then concluded.


1896: Bucks Herald, 21 March
TEMPERANCE ADDRESS.- On Thursday, March 12th, a temperance address was given in the Congregational Schoolroom by Dr. Lee, S.F.A., of Watford.  Amongst those present were Rev. J. Pither and Mrs. Pither, Miss Wigley, Mr. S. Wigley, Miss F. French, the Misses French (Tanyard), Mr. W. French, Miss George, Mr. O. Fulks, Mr. and Mrs. Higgins, Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mr. C. Watson, Mr. J. Keys, Mr. W. Norman (Grandborough), Mr. Grummitt, Mr. Ross Kelley, Miss C. Watson, Mr. Burbury, &c.  Dr. Benson, of Steeple Claydon, took the chair.  At the close, a vote of  thanks proposed by Dr. Benson, and seconded by the Rev. J. Pither, was accorded Mr. Lee for the able way in which he had addressed the meeting.

1896: Bicester Herald, 2 Oct
WINSLOW CONGREGATIONALISTS CALL UPON THE GOVERNMENT.
  At a meeting held at the close of the Sunday evening service at the Congregational Church, and presided over by the pastor, the Rev. John Pither, the following resolution was carried, the congregational all rising in assent:- “That this meeting, comprised of the regular worshippers attending the Congregational Church, Winslow, deeply sympathises with the suffering Armenian people, and implores Her Majesty’s Government to take strong and effective diplomatic measures in depriving the Sultan of Turkey of the power to sanction or connive at further bloodshed and persecution.  This meeting further desires to express the hope that all the great Powers of Europe will speedily unite to rescue the remnant of the Armenian nation from total annihilation.”

1896: Bicester Herald, 9 Oct
  “THE REGULATION OF FEMALE FASHIONS.” – The opening meeting of the Mutual Improvement Society took place on Monday evening last, in the form of a “Burlesque Parliament,” and was capitally attended.  The subject for discussion was “A Bill for the Regulation of Female Fashions.”  Parliament consisted of the Speaker (Mr. E. A. Illing) in wig, gown &c.; introducers and supporters of the bill, Messrs. Turnham, J. Gates, E. W. French, Chas. Watson, A. Watson, and Arthur Fulks; and the Opposition were Messrs. W. Lorkin, Coxill, S. Wigley, Ross Kelly, and E. R. Midgley.  Each member made a speech for or against the bill, which was a very amusing one, and the discussion evoked roars of laughter.  After both parties had spoken the House divided, when it was found that the bill was rejected by a majority of 18 votes.


1897: Buckingham Advertiser, 23 Jan
  The scholars of the Winslow Congregational Sunday School have presented the Rev. J. Pither [who had left for Mere, Somerset] with a massive silver pencil case, which was supplied by Mr. C. Osborn, jeweller, Clock House Winslow.

1897: Buckingham Advertiser, 23 Jan
  ANNUAL BAND OF HOPE MEETING.- The annual gatherings in connection with the United Band of Hope, was held in the Congregational Schoolroom on Friday evening, and passed off most successfully, there being a good number present at the tea, and the room being well filled at the evening meeting.  Mr. A. Watson presided over the latter, and delivered a telling and appropriate address at the opening.  The programme, which we give below, included some very good singing by the Misses L. Gibson, E. Mayne, L. Colton, and D. Parsons, the former in particular acquitting herself remarkably well.  Miss Bloxham officiated at the piano.

1897: Buckingham Advertiser, 3 April
  CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.- Mr. F. H. Cooper, B.A., of Mansfield College, Oxford, is taking temporary charge of the Congregational cause in the town, commencing on Sunday last.

1897: Buckingham Advertiser, 19 June
  CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.- The Rev. J. G. Evans, of Saundersfoot, Pembs., has accepted a unanimous invitation to the pastorate of the Congregational Churches at Winslow and Great Horwood.

1897: Bucks Herald, 30 Oct
The Congregationalists of Winslow and the neighbourhood had a field day on Thursday in last week, when the new Pastor, the Rev. J. G. Evans, was formally welcomed by nearly all his neighbours in the North Bucks Association, as well as by representatives of other denominations.  An interesting feature of the meeting was the very cordial reception of a kindly letter from the Rev. W. J. Armstrong, vicar of Winslow.  The occasion was noteworthy also on account of the informal opening of the new manse, which adjoins the chapel, and is a great improvement to the appearance of that end of the town.


1898: Bucks Herald, 19 Feb
  BAND OF HOPE.- The annual tea and entertainment took place at the Congregational Schoolroom, on Thursday Feb. 10th.  About 60 sat down to tea, and there was a good attendance at the entertainment.  Mr. A. Watson presided, and everything passed off creditably to the juvenile and other performers.

1898: Bucks Herald, 7 May
EISTEDDFOD AT WINSLOW.
  On Thursday, the Congregational Church at Winslow was well filled on the occasion of an Eisteddfod arranged on the lines of the Welsh musical festivals.  The idea originated with the pastor, the Rev. J. G. Evans, a native of the Principality, who was ably seconded in his efforts by Mr. E. R. Midgley, as secretary of the undertaking.  The weather during the Eisteddfod proved most uncomfortable to the contestants, who were compelled to return to their seats from the back of the church, and through the heavy rains, to the front door.  Much time appeared to be wasted by the hesitancy shown by the respective choirs in answering to their call.  In spite, however, of these little drawbacks, the whole affair may be recorded as being a great success.  There were in all 77 entries in the eight classes, which embraced a pleasing variety of subjects- solos for contralto, tenor, and bass, two adult choir contests, and one for juniors, also recitations and impromptu speaking competitions.  Some regret was expressed that a soprano solo was not included in the syllabus; but as the festival extended over a period of four hours, and a performance of the Messiah was to follow subsequently, the programme could not well have been lengthened.  The adjudicators for the musical items were positioned in the gallery, viz., Mr. Dyved Lewys and Mr. Montague Horwell, both of London. The Rev. D. A. Davies, Aylesbury, officiated for the recitations and impromptu speaking.  Tea was served in the Schoolroom, and greatly taxed the resources of the caterers. ...

1898: funeral of John Elley; funeral of Joseph Colgrove

1898: Bucks Herald, 17 Dec
  OLD AGE PENSIONS.- An interesting lecture on this subject was given on Wednesday, December 7th, in connection with the Mutual Improvement Society, by Mr. Thos. Osborne, of Buckingham.  Rev. J. G. Evans presided, and there was a good attendance.  Mr. Osborne, who in the course of his remarks, confessed that he held a brief for Friendly Societies, gave a summary of the different schemes which were before the Royal Commission, pointing out their merits and defects.  He urged that Friendly Societies were now in many cases doing a work for which they were not intended, and for which the contributions they received were insufficient, viz., that more or less they were saddled with old age or with sickness incidental to old age.  He contended that by subsidising Friendly Societies to a small extent the reproach of the Poor Law could be done away with; thrift would be encouraged; Friendly Societies which were at present unsound would flourish; the toilers of our land would have something better than the workhouse to look forward to; and the whole could be carried out through existing machinery, and the cost be but a flea bite.  In conclusion, he invited discussion on the topic.- Mr. W. H. Lorkin opposed the idea of old-age pensions through Friendly Societies.  He was in favour of granting pensions, but did not think it would be right or fair to the general public that they should be administered by the Friendly Societies.  Mr. Osborne, in reply, said he did not mind as long as they had the pensions.  The effect would be to relieve Friendly Societies of the old-age burden.- Bros. W. Walker, F. Lomas, and E. A. Illing, and Mr. Roskelly spoke in support of Mr. Osborne’s ideas.- Mr. E. J. French referred to the fact that New Zealand had granted old-age pensions.- Mr. J. Sear thought if the State took the charities in hand they could very well give old-age pensions out of them.- Mr. Osborne, in reply to the latter, said he thought the intentions of the founders should be respected.- Mr. E. W. French did not think the principle of State-aided pensions would work.  The State would have to give the entire pension or nothing.- Several questions as to the working of the proposed scheme were also put to Mr. Osborne, and answered by him.- In conclusion, Mr. East proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Osborne for the thought he had bestowed on the subject.- Mr. Turnham seconded this, saying the State pensioned its fighters, and he did not see why it shouldn’t do the same for its workers. (Applause).- Mr. A. J. Clear supported the vote, saying there was no doubt that the old-age question was the cause of the warning of so many Friendly Societies.  Men paid in all their working days, in some instances, to his own knowledge, without drawing scarcely a penny out, and then when disabled by old age they had nothing to fall back on except the consciousness that they had helped save the rates.- The vote of thanks was heartily carried.


1899: Bucks Herald, 5 June
  CROMWELLIAN CELEBRATION.  A bright and interesting service was held on Sunday evening at the Congregational Church, to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of Oliver Cromwell.  The pastor, Rev. J. G. Evans, officiated, and read for his lesson suitable portions out of Cromwell’s Soldier’s Pocket Bible, a facsimile of which he held in his hand.  He selected for his text Jude, 3rd verse- “To contend for the faith”- and said that the best way to celebrate the birth of Cromwell, who was the greatest hero and the greatest religious reformer England ever saw, was by catching his spirit and doing his work.  If Cromwell lived in these days, he would contend as a Citizen, a Puritan, and a Protestant, and he urged the audience to do the same.  There was a large congregation.  The hymns were of a martial nature, and were sung with great vigour, accompanied by the organ and a small orchestra of eight performers.  A collection was made at the close in aid of the organ fund.

1899: Bucks Herald, 25 Nov
  THE WAR.- On Thursday, Nov 16, the Mutual Improvement Society organised a capital concert on behalf of the Soldiers’ Wives and Orphans Fund.  With such a cause to plead for a hearty response was to be expected, and the result was in no way disappointing.  The Congregational Schoolroom was packed, even standing room being scarce.  The Rev. J. G. Evans presided, and in opening the proceedings said whatever might be their differences of opinion respecting the war, there could not possibly be any as to their appreciation of the services which were being rendered by our brave soldiers, or their sympathy with those left behind and dependent upon them.  He was glad, too, to recognise that at a national crisis like this they could sink all differences of opinion upon religious matters, and meet together with common sympathy and purpose. ...


1900: Buckingham Advertiser, 20 Oct
  MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY.- The annual meeting of the members of this society was held on Thursday last at the Congregational Schoolroom, Mr. Roskelly being in the chair.  There was a good attendance.  The treasurer, Mr. George Gibbs, presented the financial statement for the last session (1899-1900), which showed a small balance in hand and was considered very satisfactory.  The Rev. J. G. Evans was re-elected president, Mr. J. H. Turnham secretary, and Mr. Geo. Gibbs treasurer, with a strong list of vice-presidents, and it was resolved to continue the meetings on the same lines as before, with the exception of admitting ladies as members, which was found not to answer.


1901: Buckingham Advertiser, 13 April
  On Easter Monday the second Eisteddfod was held at the Congregational Church, Winslow, and although not quite on such a large scale as its predecessor, yet passed off very successfully and enjoyably thanks to the endeavours of the Rev. J. G. Evans, who conducted, and to Mr. E. R. Midgley, the hon.sec., whose labours were almost unceasing.  Mr. Wigley, who presided, also added considerably to the general success by his genial help.
  There were three senior choirs and three juvenile choirs competing for the prizes, viz., Aylesbury Congregational, Wolverton Congregational, and Grandborough Wesleyan.  Mr. Hands conducted the Aylesbury seniors; Mr. Roadnight the juniors; Mr. Keen the Wolverton choirs; and Mr. W. Norman the Grandborough choirs.

1901: Buckingham Advertiser, 26 Oct
MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY.
  The annual meeting and supper of this society was held on Thursday evening at the Congregational Schoolroom, when about 30 of the members were present.  The Rev. J. G. Evans, president, occupied the chair and among others present were Messrs. Turnham, H. J. Turnham, Illing, Clear, Coxill, S. P. Wigley, Underwood, Gates, Roskelly, White, W. Norman, S. W. Midgley, G. Rowe, etc., etc.  A very nice repast was provided under the care of Messrs. H. J. Turnham and Watson, and was done thorough justice to.  After the tables were clear a very enjoyable evening was spent, some capital speeches, humorous and otherwise, being delivered.  The following was [part of] the programme of toast and song:- “The King”; “The Queen and Members of the Royal Family”;…song “A pattern to the World,” Mr. S. W. Midgley; “The Navy, Army, and Reserve Forces,” responded to by Messrs. Turnham and S. W. Midgley;…”The Houses of Parliament,” proposed by Mr. Illing and responded to by Mr. S. P. Wigley and Mr. E. R. Midgley; …  The proceedings closed with a vote of thanks to the Chairman, and to Mr. Underwood for kindly officiating at the piano, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.”


1930: Buckingham Advertiser, 12 July (notes by A.J. Clear)

In making the alterations at the rear of Winslow Congregational Church, the tombstone to Daniel Seare, which had at one time served as a doorstep to the Old Ship Inn, was re-discovered.  It bears the inscription:-

“Here lyeth the body of Daniel Seayre and Mary his wife – both in one grave.       She departed this life May 9th 16— (indistinct) aged 69.
            The world is nothing, Heaven is all;
            Death did not hurt me by my fall.
            Tho’ Earth be turned to Earth, I have
            A Hopeful rest, even in the grave.

Daniel Seayre was Churchwarden in 1625.  Mr. Geo. Sear, watchmaker, is probably his lineal descendant.
[Daniel Sayer married Mary Stutsbury in 1664 but their burials are missing in the parish register]

The Old Ship Inn was pulled down in 1884, and I understand the old sign is still preserved at Western Cottage, just the other side of the street, having probably been preserved by the late Dr. Newham.


Colour photo of the Congregational Church
The Congregational Church around the time of its closure in 1989

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Copyright 25 July, 2022