Gold Hill Celebrates 220 Years
One of the largest and oldest Baptist churches has celebrated 220 years of meeting on its site - despite facing closure just a few years after it was founded.
Gold Hill Baptist Church was established in Chalfont St Peter in 1774 by a Mr Woodward, but however his sons did not share their father's faith, and planned to turn the chapel into a kennel when he died.
Understandably this unsettled the church members, one of whom decided to build a new chapel on his own land, where the current church now stands.
The cost of this build was high, but after a public appeal, a new chapel was officially opened in 1792.
On Sunday the Revd Malcolm Duncan, current team leader at Gold Hill, preached during the 220-year celebration on Acts 1:15-26, and encouraged the congregation to be thankful to the previous generations of worshippers at Gold Hill, who had combined sacrifice and vision in investing for future generations, and to do likewise themselves.
Malcolm emphasised that Gold Hill wished to remain at the heart of the local community, serving and fully playing their part.
A celebration cake was part of the celebration, from Stratton Bakery of Chalfont St Giles, while Terry Cox produced a brief history of the church especially for the celebration (Terry is pictured with Debbie Duncan, wife of Malcolm).
According to the 2012 Baptist directory, the church has membership of more than 1,000 people. It ran a hugely successful community festival throughout the Olympics.