Thursday, June 28, 2012

Long Buckby and the battle for religious liberty

I have come across a history of Long Buckby United Reform Church, as the village's Congregational church now is.

One passage, discussing the ministry of David Griffiths between 1803 and 1842, reminds us just how hard won religious liberty was in England:
During the ministry of Mr. Griffiths, the village chapels at East Haddon and Whilton were erected. Mr. Griffiths used to "lecture" once a month in a private house in East Haddon and so many people desired to hear him that the accommodation was soon insufficient and a chapel was built. 
This did not please (the squire of that time and he gave notice to the farmers on his estate that if they continued to deal with or employ shopkeepers who attended dissenting services, they would he removed from their farms. 
Although legal help was sought, nothing effective could he done and the tradespeople concerned lost the custom of nearly all the farmers in the parish. In spite of these difficulties, the chapel was completed in 1811.

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