Church of The Transfiguration
Church of the Transfiguration from the north-east Oct 2007
Until the middle of the 19th century the growing urban population of Kempston has to walk to All Saints' Church at Church End, in what is now Kempston Rural, to attend divine service, or walk to St.Leonard's church just over the parish boundary in Bedford. The Church of England set about rectifying this situation in 1855 when the National School at Up End was adapted to serve as a chapel of ease.
In 1867 St.John's church was built in Up End, followed by St.Stephen's in Spring Road in 1887. By the 1920s, however, it was decided to replace both these structures with a single, better, building. In 1927 Anne Charles-Williamson died and left £8,000 to build a church in New Town. Plans were drawn up by architect Ivan Daughtry in 1931 but these came to nothing and six years later a new design was prepared by J.Harold Gibbons. This used brick and a revised Gothic style influenced by the late Victorian Arts & Crafts Movement. The foundation stone was laid on 31 Jul 1938 and the church consecrated two years later on 14 Jul 1940.
The church was built by Kempston firm Samuel Foster Limited and includes a regimental chapel in the north aisle. A separate baptistery includes a carved stone font of 1868 which used to stand in St.John's church. The church was originally a chapel of ease to All Saints but became a conventional district in 1967 and finally became a separate parish in 1976, the incumbent becoming the vicar.
Most of the notes on the structural history of the church can be found in greater detail in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Volume number 80 of 2001 Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century: Part IV: Appendices and Index, put together by former County Archivist Chris Pickford from numerous sources some held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service and some held elsewhere or published.
Church of the Transfiguration from the south-east Oct 2007
- Harold Osmond Duncan MA - 1940;
- Allan Edward Neville Ward - 1942;
- Roger Bagnall MA - 1947;
- Thomas William Boulcott - 1951 [resigned 1954];
- Thomas Lloyd Jones MA - 1955;
- Keith Patrick Lingard AKC - 1958;
- Kyrion Thotekat Nicholas Menon MA - 1963;
- John Huntley Growns - 1967;
- Derek Vincent Draper - 1974
- Derek Vincent Draper - 1976;
- J.Robin Brown - 1985