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Wiltshire Community History

Zoar Baptist Chapel, Great Cheverell

Early records of the chapel indicate that it was at 1 The Green with a likely date of 1760 -1780. It occupied an outbuilding and the current hollow sounding floor may indicate that there was a baptistery (a pit in the ground used for baptising people by total immersion).

In 1837, a purpose built chapel was erected on the High Street by the Baptist Mark Sawyer. This was used until May 1907 when the building was acquired by the Squire, Mr G Watson-Taylor. Having no need for this building it was put up for auction. Rev. J. Burns outbid the Baptist bidders in a bid to stamp out non-conformity in the village, and it wasconverted it to a Parish Room, and it remains as such to the present day.

As a result, Mr Alfred Pocock then purchased a small orchard near the previous chapel with a view to building a new chapel. Villagers provided significant support, with donations and help with transporting materials and the chapel was completed on 1911. The new chapel was bright and airy, complete with a baptistery, and a pulpit was built in the middle of the chapel. A school room was also added. The chapel flourished with a Sunday School, which only ceased for a short while between 1958 and 1962, led by Mr West, the minister, and later by Mr Ken Edwards. Mr Edwards retired in July1990 having taught two generations of village children from the same family.

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Zoar Baptist Chapel, Great Cheverell
Zoar Baptist Chapel, Great Cheverell

Image Date: 2005
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


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