You can read our July/August Newsletter here: Link Jul-Aug17
Martin Luther nails his “95 Theses” to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, propounding two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—sparking the Protestant Reformation.
John Calvin publishes his Institutes of the Christian Religion, setting out the theology of reformation.
The English Civil War. Conflicting attitudes towards royal authority and religion brought about a series of events which escalated into armed conflict.
Charles II asked to return to England to restore the monarchy.
The Act of Uniformity decrees that clergy of the Established Church who refused to give ‘unfeigned consent and assent’ to the Anglican Prayer Book would be deprived of their living.
Rev Jonathan Paine LL.D. deprived of his living at Bishop’s Stortford.
According to early records Rev Jonathan Paine laboured greatly among the Non-Conformists in Essex and, three years after his ejectment he had gathered a congregation. He does not appear to have had a settled charge at Saffron Walden but he preached with great acceptance in the town and district for several years.
The Act of Toleration granted Non-Conformists the right to worship as they wished. A new spirit of freedom led to more than one thousand chapels being built in England over twenty years. One was the chapel at Abbey Lane. A piece of land known as Froggs’ orchard was purchased for the sum of £18. With the erection of a meeting house the Church at Abbey Lane secured a permanent place of worship.
The current Church building at Abbey Lane replaces the old Meeting house.
Erection of the schoolroom (Church hall) to celebrate the Jubilee of the Church building.
The Congregational Church joins with the Presbyterian Church to form the United Reformed Church.
Newport United Reformed Church joins with Abbey Lane to form one Church worshipping on two sites.
Saffron Walden Methodists join Abbey Lane & Newport United Reformed Church.
West Essex & Bishop’s Stortford (WEBS) pastorate formed bringing together Abbey Lane & Newport URC, Saffron Walden; Stansted Free Church; Clavering Local Ecumenical Partnership and Water Lane URC, Bishop’s Stortford
The history of the Church at Abbey Lane reaches right back to the emergence of Non-Conformity and the Free Church tradition in Britain. Continue reading “Abbey Lane URC: a brief history”
One of the principal founders of the dissenting interest which spread to Newport via Arkesden, Clavering and Wenden was Rev. Francis Holcroft, a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. After his ejection in 1662 he became Minister to a congregation at Eversden which lies 6 miles W.S.W. of Cambridge; the congregation was drawn from a radius of some twenty miles encompassing Hatfield Heath, Stansted, Arkesden, Clavering and Ely. From there, separate congregations were ‘planted’, each with their own minister. From the Meeting at Wood Hall, Arkesden came an initiative determined on 22nd December,1682 which is recorded in the records of the Saffron Walden District of Essex Congregational Union, “At the close of the year 1682, the Clavering and Wenden Church was formed, the Minister preaching at the two places alternately. In the Autumn of 1778, the Chapel at Wenden, being in a dilapidated state, the trustees pulled it down, and built a new one at Newport to meet the growing wants of that more central village. A suitable piece of ground was given by a Mr Cranmer of Quendon Hall.” He was a descendent of the Archbishop of that name. Continue reading “Newport URC: a brief history”
The Revd William Clayton’s only church pastorate was at Abbey Lane. He was ordained here in 1809 and left in 1831 to become chaplain at Mill Hill School. Continue reading “The Minister in 1811”
On the day before demolition of Abbey Lane’s old chapel, the minister preached rather pointedly on Hebrews 10: 25 (‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together’). No church to meet in? Not a problem Continue reading “The Barns”
Two hundred years ago the Abbey Lane congregation wanted a new meeting house. The old one was too small and dilapidated. It lacked the dignity and modernity appropriate to a growing church whose leading members had key roles in making Saffron Walden prosperous. Continue reading “No Planning Permission required!”
Many women are named in Abbey Lane’s records around 1811. They appear as church members, as mothers of children being baptized, and as subscribers to the fund for ‘the Support of the Gospel’. But what part did they play in the church’s life? Continue reading “What about the women?”
Abbey Lane chapel was built in 1811. Other events of the year included.
King George III was declared unfit to rule. The Prince of Wales was appointed Regent. Continue reading “What else happened?”
In April 1807 twenty esteemed citizens met to sign a revised property deed for Abbey Lane meeting house and burial ground. Continue reading “The Purse Strings”