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Tewkesbury’s Old Baptist Chapel

By admin | July 14, 2009

Several years ago, I purchased a booklet on eBay about a building called the Old Baptist Chapel in Tewkesbury. It purported to be the oldest extant Baptist meeting house in England. Reading the booklet made it seem like a worthwhile visit for our tour. Reality by far exceeded expectations. This was a fantastic stop and not to be missed.

Located in the shadow of a grand and beautiful medieval Abbey, the Baptist Chapel is humble in comparison. But for those who look with spiritual eyes, it is far better than the Abbey could ever be. Here was a place, hidden from view, where our brothers and sisters met to worship God. They had combined a few small houses, opened them up, and there, away from the eyes of an opposing world, practiced reverent, humble worship. It was a marvelous experience to see it.

We were greeted by a representative of the local tourist council, Rachel, who was extremely helpful. She took group photos of all us (as well as a video of us all singing Benjamin Beddome’s hymn ‘Shout for the Blessed Jesus Reigns.’ I knew that there would be a pulpit, and we were allowed to stand in it; I didn’t realize that there was also an ancient baptistery, and that we would be able to open it and stand in it. The only thing missing was to conduct an actual worship service! I wonder if they ever do that on a Lord’s Day.

Here are some pictures:

The room is long and narrow. The pulpit is to the right, the baptistery to the left.

The room is long and narrow. The pulpit is to the right, the baptistery to the left.

The doorway to the chapel is down a narrow alleyway

The doorway to the chapel is down a narrow alleyway

This is the sign at the head of the alley, on the main street

This is the sign at the head of the alley, on the main street

Topics: Baptism, Baptist History, Church, Preaching, Puritanism, Puritans, Regulative Principle of Worship, Worship | Comments Off

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