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Wellingborough News, 27th September 1884, transcribed by Kay Collins
Old Baptist Church
Opening of New Baptist Schools at Rushden
The School Rooms
The School Rooms & the Old Manse in Park Road
The school accommodation for the Sunday school in connection with the Old Baptist Chapel, Rushden, having for some time past been quite inadequate to the number of scholars in attendance, it was decided several months ago to erect new buildings on an excellent site between the Chapel and the residence of the minister (Rev. W. A. Davis), and this has since been successfully carried out in accordance with plans prepared by Mr. E. Sharman, architect, of Wellingborough. The new building has a handsome gable front, which is built of Leicester brick with Bath stone dressings; the rest of the building being of ordinary red brick relieved with stone dressings. It is roofed with Bangor slates and ornamental ridge tiles. Over a large window in the gable there is an artistic tympanum filled in with ornamental brick diaper. Underneath the window is the memorial stone bearing this inscription. "This stone was laid by Marianne Farningham, 30th June, 1884. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 20." There are two side entrances to the building. On the basement there is a large infant room, 16 feet by 28 feet, with a graduated gallery of seven seats, and six smaller class-rooms. Four of these are eleven feet by nine feet six inches, and the other two, which can be converted into one by removing a shutter, twelve feet by fourteen feet each. These rooms are plastered, with a wooden dado. Two staircases leads to an assembly-room above, which is 54 feet in length by 28 feet in width. At one end there is a platform, approached by three steps on each side. The wood-work is plain varnished deal. This room will be used for large public meetings. It is well lighted by three large double windows on each side, and a four-light arched window in the gable, with a smaller one on each side. There are four large gas pendants. The windows are glazed with fluted glass. The woodwork in the staircases and corridors is of pitch pine. Besides being used for school purposes the meetings of all the mutual improvement and other organisations connected with the chapel will be held in the building. There is accommodation provided for 400 children, and the number of scholars at present on the books is about 340. The contractors for the building were Messrs. C. Bayes and W. Foskett, Rushden. Mr. W. Woodward, Rushden, executed the plumbing and glazing work, and Mr. A. Marriott, engineer, Higham Ferrers, supplied the heating apparatus by sub-contracts. Boyle's patent ventilating apparatus is used. The building cost between £1,000 and £1,100, of which £650, raised by bazaars and subscriptions, is already in hand. Part of the remainder is promised. The building committee is as follows: President, Rev. W. A. Davis; Secretaries, Mr. P. Cave and Mr. W. Wood; Treasurers, W. Claridge and W. Gross.

The opening service was held in the chapel on Wednesday afternoon, when there was a large congregation present. Not a seat was vacant in the body of the chapel, and the gallery was also partially filled. The service opened with the hymn, "Sow in the morn thy seed," after which the Rev. W. Cuff (Shoreditch Tabernacle, London), read as the lesson Mark x., which was followed by the hymn, "Oh, Thou who comest from above." Prayer was then offered by Mr. Cuff, and this was followed by the familiar hymn, "I think, when I read that sweet story of old," which was sung with great heartiness. Mr. Cuff, who was the preacher, then announced as his text, "Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven," and upon these words an able discourse was based. At the conclusion of the sermon a collection was taken on behalf of the building fund, during which the hymn, "See Israel's gentle Shepherd stands," was sung, after which the Benediction was pronounced by the preacher.

At half-past four a public tea was held in the large assembly-room of the new buildings, which was well attended by members of the congregation, was well attended by members of the congregation, and by a number of visitors from a distance. The tables were neatly laid out and decorated with flowers, and presided over by the following ladies—Mrs. Davis, Mrs. A. Cave, Mrs. C. Perkins, Mrs. Wilkins, Mrs. and Miss W. Foskett, Mrs. S. Chettle, Mrs. J. Knight, Mrs. Darnell, Mrs. E. Knight, Mrs. G. Skinner, Mrs. S. Knight, Mrs. Strachan, Mrs. Burton, Mrs. Wilbey, Mrs. W. Green, Mrs. A. Corby, Miss Bailey, Mrs. F. Knight, Mrs. C. Sanders, Mrs. Gross, Mrs. J. Cave, Miss Bayes, Mrs. Checksfield, and Mrs. Green.

was held in the chapel at 6.30, when the building was crowded. The Rev. W. A. Davis presided, and supporting him were the Rev. W. Cuff, Rev. J. Scott James (Wellingborough), Rev. I. Near (Ringstead), and Messrs. E. and S. Knight and C. Bayes.

Wellingborough News, 28th June 1884



Will lay the Memorial Stone of


On JUNE 30TH, 1884, in the Afternoon,

The above Service to be followed by


When Addresses will be given by the
and other Ministers and Friends. See Bills.

Wellingborough News, 4th October 1884

BAPTIST SCHOOLS—The collections at the opening services, together with the profits on the tea, amounted to over £18.

1810 - 1960

A commemorative spoon
made in celebration of the
150th Anniversary of the founding of the Baptist Church Sunday School in Rushden.

Northampton Chronicle & Echo, 10th July 1933

RUSHDEN Baptist Sunday School, the 123rd anniversary of which was celebrated yesterday, was founded in the year 1810 in a cottage occupied by Mr. John Knowles, the son of a former Minister. This cottage, which stood on the site of the gateway at the Little-street entrance to the old chapel yard in High-street South, was one of several forming an irregular line between the street and the front of the old Meeting House. All these houses were burned down one Sunday morning about the year 1860, whilst the congregation were worshipping with the Independent Wesleyans because their own meeting house was undergoing renovation.

At the time the school was started Rushden was a village consisting of one long street with narrow lanes branching off, and the total population numbered less than 900. Much of the time of the teachers was spent in instructing the children in spelling, and the work was graded as follows: 1st class, letter card, alphabet; 2nd class, spelling card, words of four letters; 3rd class, words of one and two syllables; 4th class, higher spelling book; 5th class, Testament; 6th Class, Bible.

The high price of Bibles made their general use in the school impossible, for, as late as 1825, a copy could not be obtained for less than 3s. 9d.

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