THE CHURCH IN THE HIGH STREET
Rushden had a long history of non-conformist worship. The Wesleyans split from the main Methodist Movement in the early 1800s and a first chapel was built in 1828 which was large enough for 60 people. The congregation outgrew this space quickly and they moved to “Mr’ Soames’ Barn” in Duck Street and then again in 1852 to a factory in George Street.
Finally, in 1872 a chapel was built on the High Street to accommodate 250 worshippers. Even this soon became too small and a meeting was held in 1887 to raise money to build a much larger structure on the High Street site.
Efforts to raise money foundered and in the end it was decided that each church member had to pay 1d per week towards the cost of building a new church. The stonelaying ceremony took place in September 1898. This new building would house 750 people.
The new Church in the High Street was opened in February 1900, and although the congregation has since diminished massively, the central position in the town has meant this is one of its most prominent buildings.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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