When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
United Reformed church celebrates 350 years in Basingstoke
11:00am Monday 21st October 2013 in News
AN INCREDIBLE 350-year anniversary was marked by the congregation of a Basingstoke church.
The United Reformed Church, in London Street, marked the milestone with a week-long celebration.
The anniversary recognises the original establishment of an independent Dissenting church in 1663, following the Act of Uniformity in 1662.
The Reverend John Hook was one of 2,000 ministers to resign at the time, and he set up an independent community in Basingstoke.
The first regular ‘meeting house’ where the church assembled in 1695 was in Cross Street. The London Street building opened in 1801 under the pastorate of The Reverend Joseph Jefferson.
The Rev Kay Blackwell took over as the minister just over a month ago after completing her training at Westminster College, in Cambridge.
She said: “Three-hundred-and-fifty years ago was when the great ejection happened. Those who didn’t agree with what King Charles II was doing left the church and set up the independent churches.”
She added: “It’s been a busy start for me – this is a big event.”
A programme of events was organised to mark the anniversary, including an exhibition of archives, where The Judges Bible from 1815 was exhibited.
A flower arranging demonstration was held last Saturday, as well as storytelling, a treasure hunt and thanksgiving service.
In the evening, a free variety concert attracted a large audience, who enjoyed music from Basingstoke Male Voice Choir and a performance from Rev Blackwell, her husband and three daughters, who were transformed into the Von Trapp family for the show.
The church is used by various groups throughout the week, including the Youth Cafe, Scouts and Basingstoke Street Pastors.
Joy Williams, church secretary, who married her late husband Charles in the church in 1965, said: “There’s a service of thanksgiving for the 350 years of God’s faith to us.”
Comments are closed on this article.