For the first Chapel of the Month feature in 2015 we thought we might offer readers a mystery to solve…
Yvonne Emerton sent us this photograph of ‘Hope Baptist Chapel’. Although the photogaph has been in Yvonne’s family for many years they do not know the location of the chapel and would like to identify it if possible. It looks somewhat similar to the Hope Chapel at Horsham, which is also set on a corner, but Yvonne doesn’t think that it is the same building.
Yvonne’s great great grandfather, William Bray, was an itinerant Baptist preacher. On the 1871 census of Hitchin, Hertfordshire he is recorded as a Baptist minister in various places though his home was in Hitchin. On the 1891 census he is recorded as a Baptist minister and is a visitor at a home in Croydon, Surrey.
The Strict Baptist Historical Society have a listing for a W. Bray as minister at Haynes, Bedford from 1863- c.1870. At that time my William Bray would have been living at Walkern, Hertfordshire. His son later became a cycle shop owner in Haynes.
These are the only clues as to the possible location of the chapel so any thoughts from readers would be most welcome!