St John's Chapel, Bedford Row

St John's Chapel, Bedford Row

Infobox church
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denomination = Anglican
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address = London
country = United Kingdom
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St John's Chapel, Bedford Row, in Bloomsbury, London, was a proprietary chapel and the home of a large evangelical Anglican congregation in the 19th century. According to the "Eclectic Review" it was built for people who seceded from the congregation of St Andrew's, Holborn after Henry Sacheverell was forced on them by Queen Anne in 1713. It was located (coord|51.522|N|0.1173|W) in the vicinity of Chapel Street and Great James Street [] , the latter being a northerly extension of Bedford Row.

Rev Richard Cecil became minister there in March, 1780; he died in 1810. When he became minister there, it was described as being "the largest Church of England chapel in London. Having been much neglected, it required a large sum for its repair." (Pratt, Josiah: Life of Richard Cecil)

Daniel Wilson, later Bishop of Calcutta, became assistant curate there in 1808 and was the minister from 1812 to 1824.

From 1827 to 1848, Baptist Wriotheseley Noel was the incumbent. He afterwards became a Baptist (perhaps not surprisingly, given his name!).

In 1848-9 Thomas Dealtry, perhaps better known as Archdeacon of Calcutta and Bishop of Madras was incumbent, as was Joseph Butterworth Owen later from 1854 to 1857.

According to Grayson Carter in "Anglican Evangelicals" after Noel's departure the chapel continued its evangelical ministry but not its prominence. The roof collapsed in November 1856, and the building was demolished in 1863.

The church was associated with the Clapham Sect and the Eclectic Society, and with William Wilberforce and Zachary Macaulay

In an earlier period William Riley (fl 1760-90), author of "Parochial music corrected" and "The divine harmonist's assistant" was singing master and clerk at this chapel.

In 1814 Miss Theophania Cecil produced "The Psalm and Hymn Tunes used at St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row".

External links

* [ Life of Daniel Wilson, by Bateman, see pages 96-97 for the chapel's history and roof collapse]
* [ Picture of the chapel]
* [ Old and New London: Volume 4 at British History Online]
* [ Notes and Queries article (subscription)]
* [ Notes and Queries article continued (subscription)]

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