"Miss SMALE of Lydney", Cinderford Baptist Chapel c1910 (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Friday, October 25, 2013, 01:32 (2921 days ago) @ Jefff

While searching tinternet I have come across this superb website describing in great detail the history of the Baptist Chapel in Cinderford, I'm sure a venue where the Lydney Choir performed.

This site is an excellent FH research resource, as it describes in detail a great many local family names, for example William (Frowen) Rhodes. William Rhodes was born in Coleford on October 1808, moved to Woodside aka Cinderford as a High Street grocer and soon became Cinderford's first Postmaster. He was instrumental in opening the town's first Baptist Church in 1842. This extensive document goes onto record the history of this Chapel, it's larger 600 seat successor built 1860 and still in use, and details all the various Ministers and a great many local people connected with the Chapel and town, with full names and their family relationships eg Cooksey, Cooper, Tyndall, Chivers, etc etc etc....
The site is essentially reiterating a History of the Church previously written in 1907, by Mr S. Jordan (secretary). Also included are full details of their Jubilee Celebrations, in 1910. This also included extensive lists of those people who have attended the Church, or subscribed/donated towards it's Celebrations. These names include
" Miss Smale (Lydney), 2s. 6d." - Kathleen perhaps ??
"Alfred Beddis, Cinderford, son of John Beddis, grandson of Mary Ann Richards, early member." A possible relative to the aforementioned choirmaster Beddis, perhaps ?

I urge anyone with roots in Cinderford if not beyond to read, or at least search, this excellent site - there are a great many old Foresters waiting to be found and hopefully placed into family trees !

Baptist missions to Cinderford were attempted before 1842 when, with help from Gloucester, services were held in the house of W. F. Rhodes, a grocer and a member of the Coleford church. The following year the Cinderford meeting became a separate church with 10 members and it built a chapel in the later Commercial Street. The church, which had its own minister from 1845, became by far the largest Baptist meeting in the Forest and supported missionary work in several places. The chapel, in which a gallery was erected in 1847, attracted morning and evening congregations of 170 and 280 and taught 170 children in its Sunday school in 1851. It was pulled down following its replacement in 1860 by a larger building immediately to the south. The new chapel had a pedimented street front and an end gallery, and its sloping site afforded accommodation for a schoolroom under it. In 1862 a Strict or Particular Baptist church also met in Cinderford and its minister Richard Snaith conducted baptisms in St. Anthony's well near Gunn's Mills in 1864. The meeting had a chapel in Flaxley Meend and has not been traced after 1879. Under Cornelius Griffiths, minister 1873-81, the Commercial Street church saw its membership double to nearly 400 and it sent missions to places nearby and to Newnham. Its chapel had side galleries from 1875 and new rooms, opened in 1887 and 1903, were added at the rear for the Sunday school, which in 1901 taught 1,208 children and young adults. The church, which in 1907 opened an institute in Belle Vue Road and at the end of the First World War held open-air services at Mousell barn just outside Cinderford, was in decline by the later 1920s. It had 46 members in 1992.

From: 'Forest of Dean: Protestant nonconformity', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 5: Bledisloe Hundred, St. Briavels Hundred, The Forest of Dean (1996), pp. 396-404.
URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=23273 Date accessed: 25 October 2013.

For more info about the Chapel see:

PS I'm pleased and not surprised to see that, on my further searching of this forum, the Baptist Chapel website has already been recommended here, as I should perhaps have remembered...

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