Warboys Baptist Church has a very long history.
For over 300 years, God has been faithful to us. Here are a few highlights:
In 1644, during the English Civil War, a chaplain from Cromwell's army, named Henry Denne, preached in the village. People were converted and he baptised these new believers - William Dunn, John Richards, John Ward, John Kidson and William Askew - and a church was formed. The first pastor was William Dunn. Those early believers would meet in each other's homes to worship. It's clear that close link were established with a church at Fenstanton, near St Ives.
hard times and a merging
For non-conformists, there were times of persecution in the late 1600s. In 1683, a minute from a church meeting reads; 'This year presents us with rumours of trouble abroad.' From 1700 onwards, times were more peaceful. In 1714, the church formally united with the believers at Fenstanton. Meetings would take place in both villages.
For a time, when the merged church met in Warboys, it used a cottage on Station Rd, which is still known as 'Chapel Cottage'. But in 1827, a more permanent place for the church was sought. They purchased a thatched barn from the Wesleyan Methodists. This is where the present church building is today.
The church sort of started afresh in 1829. It became independent from Fenstanton. A new pastor came. The building was renovated and completed in 1831, using bricks from nearby Pingle Wood. In 1899 the current frontage of the building was completed at a cost of £1,140.
schools, baptisms and books
In 1869 the church decided to establish a British School in Warboys. This was opened in 1870 and was given over to the government in 1902.
The Weir (village pond) began to be used for baptisms around this time. On April 6th, 1900, around 2000 people gathered for the baptisms of 9 believers. In 1933 a new baptistry was built - inside the building! - which is still used today.
The history of the church is recorded in 'The Warboys Baptists', by Horace A Hyde, published in 1963, but out of print now. It contains fascinating insights into village and church life over the centuries. Perhaps one day we'll reprint and add the up to date news!
We look back, not to give glory to people, but to Jesus Christ, who is the builder of his church.
We look forward to Christ continuing to build his church in Warboys.