All Saints' in 1895 [X254/88/150]
All Saints' church is in a picturesque setting with the school and a row of cottages, one of which used to be the parish workhouse, near the river in Church End, which is now in the civil parish of Kempston Rural. It was the sole church for the whole parish before 1855 when the school at Up End served briefly as a chapel of ease for the growing urban centre of Kempston, prior to the building of All Saints' daughter churches of St.John's in St.John's Road in 1868 and St.Stephen's in Spring Road in 1887. These two churches were replaced by the Church of the Transfiguration in Bedford Road in 1940 which served as a daughter church to All Saints' before becoming a conventional district in 1967 and finally a parish church in its own right in 1976.
All Saint's church has been in existence since at least 1215, the earliest known date for a vicar. The building is older, however, it has even been suggested that it contains fragments of Anglo-Saxon (i.e. pre-1066) work in the masonry of the chancel. What is certain is that the tower, chancel arch and parts of the chancel itself are 12th century whilst the nave, aisles and east end of the chancel are mostly 13th century. A clerestory was added to the nave in the 15th century when the tracery was altered in all the windows. A mausoleum was built on the north side of the chancel in 1823 and extended west to form a vestry between fifteen and twenty years later. The porch was given exterior stairs in 1837.
All Saints about 1810 [Z1045/1]
The church's bells date from between 1603 and 1633 with the frame being renewed somewhere in the middle of these two dates. A gallery was built in 1617 only to be replaced by a larger one nine years later, erected at the expense of Lord of the Manor William Cater. A new pulpit was installed in 1697 and in 1764 the ten commandments, creed and Lord's Prayer were painted and erected on boards. The tower roof was repaired in 1793 and the stone commemorating the fact, along with the names of the churchwardens remains in the tower.
The church was repaired and altered between 1838 and 1839 with the construction of new galleries and a reorganisation of the pews. During the work an ancient stone coffin was found in the fabric of the porch. In 1846 Peter Clutterbuck presented a new organ to the church. In 1852 a stained glass memorial window to the Fitzpatrick family was installed in the east window and a new pulpit provided as well as further seating improvements and repairs being undertaken on the south aisle roof.
Interior of All Saints July 2007
Clutterbuck's organ was replaced in 1860 and restoration work on the fabric took place four years later, with the west gallery being removed and new stained glass installed in the west window. The tower was repaired in 1877 and two years later a new reredos, altar and rails were provided. In 1888 the organ was moved to the tower arch at the west end. In 1901 the church was again restored and re-ordered, being again re-seated; the galleries were removed, the north aisle re-roofed, the floor lowered, the chancel ceiling renewed, a new organ loft provided and a new chancel screen with loft and rood. Stained glass windows were added in 1913 and 1923, the tower repaired in 1928/9 and a children's church added in 1938.
Most of the notes on the structural history of the church can be found in greater detail in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Volume number 77 of 1998 Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century: Part II: parishes H to R, 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.
The patron of the living was Elstow Abbey from early times. After it was dissolved by Henry VIII a succession of people were patron over the next three hundred years. The patron is now the Bishop of St.Albans.
Kempston Vicarage about 1880 [X254/88/152]
In 1927 Bedfordshire was valued under the Rating Valuation Act 1925; each piece of land and building was valued to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer at the Vicarage found a house set in 2.948 acres. It comprised a hall, dining room, drawing room (to north and west), study (to north), kitchen and scullery and larder downstairs. Upstairs were a bedroom over the dining room and another over the drawing room with steps down to two further bedrooms then up a few steps to a dressing room, bathroom and wc and two servant's bedrooms. On the second floor were an attic and store. Outside was a coal shed, boot room and wc along with a butler's pantry; also a brick and tile two stall stable, food room, garage with a loft over, three pig sties and a hen house. Electric light was being put in.
In the late 20th century the vicarage was moved to a smaller, mode modern building and this old vicarage sold. It is a Grade II listed building having been built in the mid 19th century. It has a stucco facia with whitewashed brick at the rear, all with a hipped Welsh slate roof.
All Saints' from the south November 2007
List of Vicars
- Richard - 1215 - 1220 [capellanus];
- Matthew - 1222 [capellanus. Ordained];
- Brother Walter - 1243 [capellanus, with consent of the vicar of Kemeston];
- Symon - 1248 [capellanus, on resignation of Matthew, last Vicar];
- Hugh de Cotes - 1274 [ capellanus. On death of Simon];
- Thomas de Gunneby - 23 Jul 1311 [deacon, on death of Hugh];
- Robert Morice - 26 Mar 1319 [capellanus, on death of Thomas];
- John Amice - 1332 [presented on 3 Oct 1332 to Vicarage of Newport Pagnell];
- John Cole - 5 Oct 1332 [priest. On resignation of John Amys, exchanged to Newport Pagnell Vicarage];
- Richard de Haregrave - 23 Oct 1336 [Rector of Horseheath in the Diocese of Ely, by exchange with John Cole. Patron as above];
- John Sharpe - 8 Dec 1342 [Rector of Chauton in the Diocese of Wynton, by exchange with Richard de Weston, Vicar of Kempston];
- John Unwyn;
- William Brocket - 22 Sep 1372 [priest, on resignation of John Unwyn, exchanged to Syberton Rectory];
- William Lynne - 28 Sep 1382 [on exchange with William Brocket, priest, for Elnestowe Chantry];
- Nicholas Poire - 1389 [Vicar of Leighton Buzzard, on exchange with William Lynne, priest];
- John Wadupp - 8 Jun 1407 [Vicar of Leighton Buzzard, on exchange with Nicholas Pyrr];
- Thomas Toryngton;
- William Bernard - 31 Jul 1457 [priest, on death of Thomas Toryngton];
- Hugh Burton - 5 Mar 1495 [priest, on death of William Bernard];
- Robert Gostwik - 20 Jan 1506 [on resignation of Hugh Burton. Pension of 8 shillings];
- William Taillour - 12 Oct 1516 [on resignation of Robert Gostwik];
- William Parke - 2 Aug 1521 [M.A., on death of William Tailor];
- John Dewe - 8 May 1535 [capellanus, on death of last incumbent];
- John Smalle - 4 Jul 1554;
- John Vernham - 8 Feb 1557;
- Richard Wheeler - 23 Apr 1570 [clerk, on death of John Vernam];
- Alexander Fitzgeoffrey - 27 Apr 1570 [clerk, vacancy by lapse];
- Robert Millward - 28 Apr 1619;
- Henry Randall - 30 Dec 1624;
- John Newland - 25 Feb 1623 [M.A];
- Henry White - 1631 [clerk, will dated 2 Mar 1631];
- Zachary Seaton - [minister, married Dorothy Cokayne 16 Oct 1633];
- William Hayward - [clerk, buried 1 Apr 1659. PCC will 16 Apr 1659];
- James Clarke - 25 Apr 1661 [Vicar, buried 1 May 1665];
- David Faldo - 24 Sep 1665 [clerk, on death of James Clarke];
- Joseph Margetts - 26 Jul 1680 [M.A., ordained priest 24 Sep 1676 by Joseph, Bishop of Peterborough, on death of David Faldo. Buried 31 Aug 1724];
- John Billey - 21 Dec 1724 [A.B., on death of John Margetts. Will ABP/W 1742/36];
- William Jenkins - 12 Aug 1742 [A.M., on death of John Biley. Patron William Dennis, Esq.];
- Richard Reddall - 18 Dec 1764 [M.A., clerk, on the death of William Jenkins];
- James Grant - 16 Aug 1766 [L.L.D., on death of Richard Riddal];
- Sequestration for debt - 12 Sep 1776;
- James Aspinwall - 25 Sep 1795 [clerk, on cessation of James Grant];
- Edward Tanqueray - 5 Aug 1816 [L.L.B., on death of James Aspinwall];
- George Owsley Fenwicke - 4 Jun 1817 [A.M., on cessation of E Tanqueray];
- Henry Clutterbuck - 21 Dec 1834 [B.A. on cessation of George O Fenwicke];
- Hamilton John Williams - 12 Feb 1846 [on cessation of Henry Clutterbuck];
- Rev. A Whitmarsh - 1886;
- Henry Baugh - 31 Jul 1888 [M.A.];
- John Rosser - Aug 1895;
- P Greaves - Mar 1913 [M.A., Vicar of ST Sepulchres Cambridge, on death of last incumbent];
- George Herbert Cobbold Shorting - Jul 1919;
- Frederick Oliver Houseman - Apr 1926;
- Thomas Henry Woods Barker - Nov 1929;
- Henry Charles Perry - Dec 1947;
- Roger Bagnall - 1947;
- Henry John - Nov 1950;
- Kenneth Charles Habermehl - 1965;
- Richard Neville Carter - 1987;
- Richard J.Sutton - 1995