Victoria County History



A F Wareham, A P M Wright

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'Cheveley: Nonconformity', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 55-56. URL: Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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Henry Jermyn, lord of the manor c. 1672-1708, was a prominent Roman Catholic and the eight or ten papists reported in 1676 were presumably all members of his household. (fn. 49)

Two protestant dissenters were recorded in 1676, (fn. 50) but no more until 1805, when a minister from Bury St. Edmunds registered a barn for worship. (fn. 51) A house registered in 1836 (fn. 52) was perhaps for Primitive Methodists, who had a 'chapel' in 1850 and held annual camp meetings on Broad green until 1862 or later. (fn. 53)

In 1868 a Newmarket preacher began holding services in a barn on High Street. Under the patronage of Martin Slater of Hall farm a small Baptist chapel was built on the site in 1869, and by 1871 there were 24 members and a large congregation. (fn. 54) In 1882, under a new pastor, the chapel turned abruptly to Congregationalism, though other denominations occasionally held services there too. Attendance was c. 70 in 1885. (fn. 55) After c. 1900 the chapel was mostly served by lay preachers but membership and attendance held up well in the early 20th century as Cheveley's population grew. At the peak in the 1940s and 1950s Cheveley itself provided almost half of c. 50 adult members. Decline began in the 1960s but the chapel was kept open after the Congregationalists helped to form the United Reformed Church in 1972. It had six members in 1989, when a minister from Newmarket held two services a month. (fn. 56) A new vestry and entrance hall were added in 1998 and one service a week was held in 2000. (fn. 57)


49 Compton Census, ed. Whiteman, 231; cf. Mon. Inscr. Cambs. 126.
50 Compton Census, ed. Whiteman, 231.
51 P.R.O., RG 31/2, Sudbury archdeac. no. 358; cf. Norf. R.O., VIS/42/4; VIS/54/4 (rector stating no mtg. ho. 1806 and 1820).
52 P.R.O., RG 31/3, Norwich dioc. no. 3367.
53 Camb. Ind. Press, 6 Apr. 1850, p. 3; 3 Aug. 1850, p. 3; Camb. Chron. 22 Aug. 1857, p. 4; 17 May 1862, p. 8; not reported in 1851 census of worship.
54 Camb. Chron. 25 Sept. 1869, p. 5; 30 Sept. 1871, p. 8; 28 Sept. 1872, p. 8; Baptist Handbk. (1871), 120; (1875), 131; (1876), 165.
55 Congregational Year Bk. (1883), 104; C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/24; C 3/30; C 3/36.
56 Congregational Year Bk. (1882-1970/1, sampled at 5year intervals from 1885); United Reformed Church Year Bk. (1975 and later edns.).
57 Inscription inside bldg.