Chapel History

Lode Chapel has been a place of worship since the early years of the 19th century.  The Christians who bought the land in 1810 were part of the Baptist movement, which traced its roots back to the ‘Anabaptists’ of the 16th century reformation and which became a distinct group in England, practising baptism by immersion, in 1640-41. The Lode Chapel Lantern on display in the sanctuary is reported to date back to the seventeenth century.

The present building and schoolroom were built in 1832 and  an extension in 1855 added the minister’s room and the tall tapering chimney. The Chapel was refurbished between 1988 and 1992 when the ground floor pews were removed and mains drainage was installed.  Until then the sole water supply was a single tap in the graveyard. The interior refurbishment created a warm and welcoming sanctuary area with a sound system and big screen, together with a well equipped kitchen and school rooms.

The graveyard has been cleared and maintained and has many gravestones of local historical interest.

Over the years since 1832 the Chapel has seen many changes.  In the early years of the 20th century the Chapel was full, with the gallery in use every Sunday. However, two World Wars took their toll and there was a steady decline in numbers until 1984, when the membership consisted of a handful of elderly members. Eden Baptist Church in Cambridge was approached for help, and by 1991 Lode Chapel was again in a position to re-establish itself as an independent church with a new membership committed to continuing the worship of God and living out the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ.

In 1998 Lode Chapel became affiliated to the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Home Mission grants have enabled the fellowship to have a full-time pastor over recent years. Since 2006 the church has met on one Sunday morning each month in the primary school in Bottisham – the biggest of the five villages that the church serves. This service, now known as ‘RE:NEW Kids Club and Cafe’, is an ecumenical fresh expression of church designed to make the Christian faith accessible to local families. The size of the congregation is more than double on these Sundays, and for this reason, from 21st February 2010, the church has been holding all of its morning services in the primary school. For more details about this go to www.renewchurch.org.uk.

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