Catalogue description CODICOTE FREE CHURCH

This record is held by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of NB4
Reference: NB4
Date: 1861 - 1987
Held by: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Codicote Free Church, Codicote, Hertfordshire

Physical description: 36 files
Access conditions:

Those items marked with an asterisk in the following list are closed to general inspection for a period of 25 years from 15 June 1986. However bona fide students of Nonconformist history may use these items on production of written permission from Rev. Stephen Capson, 60, Strathmore Ave, Hitchin SG5 1ST

  • Codicote, Hertfordshire
  • Religion
Administrative / biographical background:

In the summer of 1856 the Rev. W. Wainwright, Congregational Minister at Wheathampstead, began preaching in the open air at Codicote. By Christmas 1859 a piece of land had been purchased for the erection of a chapel on the west side of the High Street, Codicote and in June 1861 the foundation stone was laid. The chapel opened for worship in 1862 and Mr Wainwright continued to act as pastor of both Codicote and Wheathampstead until his death in 1865. Further land was purchased at the rear of the chapel for the erection of a school house in 1869. The union of the two churches was dissolved in 1872 and a permanent minister appointed for Codicote in 1873.


During the 1890's a Baptist Mission was begun in Codicote by Mr Nelson Jones who held bible reading meetings in his own home. These meetings were very soon extended and a room was hired for the purpose. A site for a church on the east side of Codicote High Street was purchased in 1899 and the building opened in June 1900. A Sunday School was started in November of the same year. In 1901 one of the Codicote members began to hold meetings in Welwyn and in the following year at Lemsford. The Codicote church continued to have a close association with the church in Welwyn for some years to come and in February 1920 the Union Church [see below] also took oversight of the Baptist church at Whitwell. The church at Codicote was joined as a Mission Church to the Baptist Church at Hertford in August 1902 under the pastoral care of Rev. Martin Ashby of Hertford.


A joint meeting of both the Baptist and Congregational Churches was held in February 1917 to discuss the possibility of uniting the two congregations. This was formally agreed in October of the following year. The Congregational church was to be used for Sunday Services and the Baptist Hall when required. The first minister of the Union Church, as it was now to be known, the Rev. F. Joseph, was appointed in July 1919.


In September 1947 the Union Church became affiliated to the newly formed Hitchin and District Free Church Federal Council. It became known as the Codicote Free Church in July 1968. Unfortunately decaying buildings and a low membership precipitated its final closure in June 1986. The church buildings are to be sold but as at August 1989 still stand.

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