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Wiltshire Community History

Congregational Church, Codford

This Independent meeting was founded by Thomas Haytor with services held in the open air, in cottages and in the barn of Mr Rebbeck. A malt house that was fitted up for worship in 1798. A chapel, with schoolroom and adjoining manse was opened on 2nd November 1811 with Samuel Devenish as the dissenting minister. This became a Congregational church in 1813. Haytor also founded the chapel at Wylye and the two churches were mutually dependent upon one another. On 16th May 1819 a total of 148 children from the two Sunday schools were treated to an afternoon address by the minister followed by plum cakes and cider. They also received 2d (0.8p) each from Thomas Haytor.

In the mid 19th century a strong minister attracted 64 new members in 11 years, mainly in the first few years, but brought about friction with Wylye, who withdrew from the local partnership. They rejoined after the minister retired in 1858 and the Codford school and manse were rebuilt and the chapel 'almost' rebuilt. There was trouble again between the two churches in 1877 but they were working in harmony by the end of that year. At the turn of the century the chapel was in need of repair and £100 was raised from only 21 members by January 1901 to enable repairs to take place. During the First World War the Sunday school numbers increased and the church was redecorated in 1925 and the organ rebuilt in 1932.

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