Bethnal Green Congregational Church Baptism Register, 1860-1945
Register of Baptisms of Bethnal Green Congregational Church, 1860 - 1945 [ref W/BGU/2/2/1]
Bethnal Green United Reformed (formerly Congregational) Church was probably founded in 1662 by Rev. Thomas Walton, a minister ejected from the Church of England and the Church was known as "The Bethnal Green Meeting" or the "Bethnal Green Independent Chapel". This meeting house was situated next to "The Green Man" public house in Cambridge Heath Road. It was subsequently known as Kello's Meeting House after the Rev. John Kello, a prominent member and pastor of the Church in the late 18 and early 19 centuries. He served the Church for 56 years as its Pastor and died in 1827. The meeting house moved to new premises 8 years before Rev. Kello's death to a location further south in Cambridge Heath Road at the junction with Birkbeck Road.
The Rev. Josiah Viney became Pastor of this new meeting house in 1843 and immediately found that larger premises were needed and a piece of land was purchased at a cost of £1519 16s 3d situated in Bethnal Green Road. A Church was built on this land in 1850 at a cost of £7287 12s and the Church became known as the "Bethnal Green Road Congregational Church". The Church was built in a Gothic style and had a lofty spire some 125 feet in length, this was eventually removed in November 1946 at a cost of £200 due to war damage. A school room was situated underneath the Church which was large enough to seat 500 people. The Church itself could seat 1200 people.
The Church flourished during the 1850's being the only Congregational place of worship in the district, but soon two other Congregational Churches started; Rev. Northrope built Approach Road Church near Victoria Park and Cambridge Heath Church started in 1861. As well as these churches taking some of the members of Bethnal Green Road Congregational Church, many of its members who became more affluent migrated to the suburbs and so membership of the Church suffered.
Bethnal Green Road Congregational Church became Bethnal Green United Reformed Church in 1974 when the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches united.
The register of baptisms covers the period 1860 - 1945 but no baptisms are recorded between 1869 and 1911. It forms part of extensive archives of the church, a full catalogue of which is available online at the Access to Archives website.
The index was compiled by Bryony Leventhall.
The Register is a PDF