Landbeach: Nonconformity

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Landbeach: Nonconformity', in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds, (London, 1989) pp. 155. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol9/p155 [accessed 18 April 2024]

NONCONFORMITY

Some villagers were linked c. 1675 to a group of dissenters in neighbouring parishes, (fn. 1) and 21 people, including 8 married couples, were failing to receive the sacrament in 1686. (fn. 2) In 1728, however, there was only one family of Independents. (fn. 3) In 1783 four or five dissenting families were recorded. (fn. 4) The four reported in 1807 were described as 'meetingers', adhering to no particular sect. (fn. 5) A house was registered for worship in 1798 and 1814, (fn. 6) and a chapel was built c. 1816, seating 150. It was attended by some 50 people in 1825, by when its teacher was a General Baptist, and it was reckoned a Baptist chapel. In 1851 the minister held three Sunday services and claimed attendances of 110-150 adults. (fn. 7) A new chapel seating 320 was built by subscription in 1854. It stands west of the high street at the south end of the village and has a plain three-bay front, pedimented on pilasters. (fn. 8)

By 1851 and into the early 1880s it was served by ministers resident in Landbeach. (fn. 9) The rector c. 1885 estimated that a third of the population were Baptists, although in 1897 allegedly barely a tenth of the professed Baptists had been baptized. (fn. 10) The chapel had 55 full members in 1871 and 1885. Membership declined from 36 in 1895 (fn. 11) to c. 15 from the 1920s to the 1940s, when the chapel was being served from Histon or Waterbeach. (fn. 12) In the 1950s there were barely 8 members and no pastor, (fn. 13) but a lay pastor installed in 1973 (fn. 14) revived the congregation, which in 1981 included 12 members. (fn. 15) The chapel was open in 1986.

The Salvation Army began operations at Landbeach in 1887, moving to a barn by 1893, and was attracting many adherents in 1897, but had retreated by 1925. (fn. 16)

Footnotes

  • 1. Proc. C.A.S. lxi. 77.
  • 2. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/70, ff. 47v.-48.
  • 3. Ibid. B 8/1, f. 20v.
  • 4. Ibid. B 7/1, p. 29.
  • 5. Ibid. C 1/4.
  • 6. P.R.O., RG 3½, Ely dioc. nos. 158, 278.
  • 7. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/6; P.R.O., HO 129/186 (1), f. 23; cf. Baptist Handbk. (1871), 120.
  • 8. Camb. Chron. 25 Mar. 1854; G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 7622; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1904).
  • 9. e.g. P.R.O., HO 107/1759; ibid. RG 9/1018; Camb. Chron. 11 Apr. 1868; Baptist Handbk. (1876), 165; (1885), 172.
  • 10. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/31; C 3/38.
  • 11. Baptist Handbk. (1871), 120; (1885), 172; (1895), 186.
  • 12. Ibid. (1925), 57; (1935), 62; (1944-6), 29.
  • 13. Ibid. (1955), 84.
  • 14. Camb. Ind. Press, 8 Mar. 1973.
  • 15. Baptist Handbk. (1981-2), 55.
  • 16. G.R.O. Worship Reg. nos. 29935, 34137; C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/38.