An online history of
Upper Stratton Baptist Church
from 1861 to the present day.
click any image to view an enlarged copy
Quicklinks: 1861 : 1880 : 1929 : 1952 : 1961 : 1996
special 150th Anniversary book, which records our history from 1862
- 2012 is available online now from
Upper Stratton village was, for many years, a separate community. With the expansion of the former railway town of Swindon into a large, modern town, Upper Stratton has become absorbed into the larger town but retains its' distinctive sense of community too. Upper Stratton Baptist Church has served the community since 1861 as a place of worship, a meeting place and centre of many community activities.
are proud to have served God and the community in this way and
believe we will continue to form an essential focus for the
community for future generations.
|1861||Prior to the opening
of the chapel in Green Lane (later to become Green Road) there was no
school and just one small church (Primitive Methodist) in the
village of Upper Stratton near Swindon.
In 1860, Henry Tucker Esq. of Bourton House, Berkshire, became the owner of a large part of Upper Stratton village. As a Christian, he decided to take action to benefit the community and glorify God. So he made plans to build the Chapel to serve the community as a Day School and Free Church. The foundation stone was laid in 1861 and the Church began life in 1862.
|A wonderfully detailed account of our history from 1861 - 1929 can be found here, written to commemorate the opening of the Sunday School Hall in 1929.|
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|Rev Horatio Gilmore served as the first full-time Minister|
|Rev Issaker Fletcher
was the Minister.
Rev Fletcher was a converted Israelite
|Mr Samuel Colborne served as Superintendent of the Sunday School. Many years later, Mr Colborne was the guest of honour at the stone-laying ceremony for the new Sunday School Hall in 1929.|
|1868||Local trustees took
over responsibility for the church
The church joined the West of England Baptist Association (WESBA)
|Rev James Hamilton from Norfolk was Minister|
|Rev Nicholas Rogers was Minister until he emigrated to Australia|
|1878||Mr Robert Iles was appointed Organist and Choirmaster - a role in which he served for over 50 years|
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|Rev J W Gardner from Oxfordshire served as Minister|
|Mr A N Taylor served as Superintendent of the Sunday School|
|1883||Articles of Faith and Rules of Practice of the Baptist Church, Upper Stratton, published in February 1883|
|1886||The bell fell from use. It was later sent to Jamaica in response to an appeal from the Baptist Missionary Society.|
|Following the death of Mrs Tucker it became a lay Church. Plans to amalgamate with Gorse Hill Baptist Church and for a co-pastorate with Stratton Green Baptist Church fell through and the church became led by a lay pastorate for over 60 years, the first being Mr A N Taylor who was Senior Deacon until 1919|
|1902||It became possible to buy the building from the estate of Mrs Tucker at a cost of £300 which was met by loans from WESBA and the Baptist Building Fund|
|c.1910||Parades were popular in the life of the church. This photograph is believed to show the Band of Hope parading past the church around 1910|
|c.1910||Mr T Brett (centre, seated) was Superintendent of the Sunday School from 1910 - 1916. Mr Brett was affectionately known as "Uncle Tom" but sadly died at an early age|
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|Mr H Garlick served as Superintendent of the Sunday School|
|1929||The foundation stone-laying ceremony for the new Sunday School Hall was a big event on 2nd March 1929. Guest of Honour was Mr Samuel Colborne who gave the address at the the special Service. Mr Colborne was Superintendent of the Sunday School some 45 years previously and is pictured here being greeted by the Mr J Usher|
|1929||The foundation stone-laying was marked by a special service|
|1929||The New Sunday School
Hall opened just 5 months later in August 1929 to provide a home for
the large number of children attending each week.
A wonderfully detailed account of the church history from 1861 - 1929 can be found here, written to commemorate the opening of the Sunday School Hall in 1929.
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|1945||Social events were an important part of the life of the church after the war.|
|1945||The Young People's Fellowship began in September 1945. It has continued in various forms ever since. Today it's known as 'POGs' -(People Of God, a name chosen by the young people themselves)|
|1952||Connie Crook, still a church member in 2006, led the Catering Committee in 1952|
|1952||Rev. Ralph E Maycock became the first full-time minister at the church for 60 years|
|1952||Rev Ralph Maycock and
wife Kathleen on the induction.
Back row (L-R):
|1952||The Swindon Evening Advertiser reported the arrival of Rev Maycock from Ramsbottom, Lancashire|
|1952||Special services marked the induction of Rev R E Maycock on 6th September 1952. He moved into the manse, then at 36 Dores Road, in 1953|
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|1955||The 'Rear Hall' was opened as a new home for the Sunday School - September 3rd 1955.|
|1961||'The Messengers' band was formed and performed a range of Christian and secular music across the South of England for many years to come. Performing in venues from Plymouth to West Sussex as well as our local area, the Messengers were a popular choice to lead weekend meetings and events.|
|1962||The '2nd Swindon Boys' Brigade Company Hall' was opened (now known as Le Shed and used by the youth group called POG's)|
|1962||The church celebrated its Centenary with a week of special events|
|1977||The Silver Jubilee Flower Festival was held to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee in June 1977|
|1981||Rev David Blandford arrived to pastor USBC, fresh from Spurgeon's College together with wife, Heather.|
|1987||Special 125th Anniversary Services were held|
|1996||A special service of dedication marked the re-opening of the church following extensive renovation and extension|
|1999||From April to Sept we shipped a number of articulated trucks containing aid, donated by the community, to Albania for refugees from the Kosovo conflict. Working with an English missionary in Berat, Albania (Dudley Powell) we were able to provide much-needed clothes, food and medical supplies to the refugees arriving in that area. Over a 5 month period we sent 15 lorries, thanks to the immense generosity of the people of Swindon and the surrounding area|
|2006||We celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the arrival of Rev David Blandford with wife, Heather.|
|2008||Rev Chris Priddy joined USBC to work with children and young people both within the church and the community including local schools|
|2009||A wide variety of services and weekday activities continue. Many members are involved in activities across the town and share their faith with those they meet.|
|2014||After more than 33 years
serving God, the congregation at USBC and the local community, Rev
David Blandford left the pastorate to follow his calling as a
chaplain in the health service. Whilst he will be sorely missed, the
church wishes him well as he moves forward with the work God is
calling him to.
Please visit this ongoing history project again soon