This record is held by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of NR16
Reference: NR16

The United Reformed Church was founded in October 1972 by union of the Congregational Church in England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England. However not all the churches belonging to these two denominations agreed to accept the 1972 Scheme of Union. The records of those Hertfordshire churches which remained separate are catalogued under the reference NC.




NR16/1 Church Books


NR16/2 Church Meeting


NR16/3 Deacons


NR16/4 Registers


NR16/5 Church Committees and Organizations


NR16/6 Church Finance


NR16/7 Church Property


NR16/8 Sunday School


NR16/10 Membership


NR16/12 Church Magazines


NR16/13 Miscellaneous




NR1 Barnet, Wood Street United Reformed Church


NR2 Bushey United Reformed Church


NR3 Barley United Reformed Church


NR4 St Albans, Trinity United Reformed Church


NR5 Letchworth Free Church


NR6 Ware United Reformed Church


NR7 Royston United Reformed Church


NR8 Hitchin United Reformed Church


NR9 Radlett United Reformed Church


NR10 Wheathampstead United Reformed Church


NR11 Hemel Hempstead, Adeyfield Free Church (affiliated to the United Reformed Church


NR12 Bishops Stortford United Reformed Church


NR13 Harpenden United Reformed Church


NR14 Hertford United Reformed Church


NR15 New Barnet United Reformed Church


NR16 Knebworth United Reformed Church

Date: 1886 - 1995
Related material:

Further reading: Stanley Whiteman, Knebworth United Reformed Church Centenary 1887-1987 (Knebworth United


Reformed Church 1987


For Walkern United Reformed Church see D/EX838

Held by: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Knebworth United Reformed Church, Knebworth Hertfordshire

Physical description: 198 files
Access conditions:


Immediate source of acquisition:

Accessions 2675, 2689, 2739, 2785, 2889, 3065 and 3175

  • Knebworth, Hertfordshire
  • Religion
Administrative / biographical background:



Until 1886 the congregation at Knebworth attended services for worship at the nearby Codicote Chapel. In 1886 some of the members of the congregation decided to try and encourage the formation of a meeting in Knebworth itself, and began to set up a meeting in the blacksmith's shop. Lord Lytton agreed to this (as the workshop was part of his estate) and added the proviso that if the congregation could raise the funds he would rather see them in a building built specially for the purpose and that he would let them land at a peppercorn rent. The Hertfordshire Congregational Union approved of the plans and the foundation stone was laid on 8th April 1887. The building was opened on July 15th of that same year.


The Church had individual trustees in the first instance, which meant that by 1903 only four of the original trustees were still available to carry out their duties. In June 1903 new trustees were appointed, although finally in 1929 the Hertfordshire Congregational Union was invited to become the trustee for the Church, thus solving the problems brought about by having to re-elect individual trustees.


The diaconate was first formed in 1916 and there were eight deacons, this was increased to nine in 1959. In 1972, when the church became a United Reformed Church, the diaconate were elected Elders and that is how they are known at the present time.


In 1897 a new schoolroom was opened at the rear of the Church to accommodate the growing Sunday School. In 1911, a further building was required. However, in November 1952 a fire destroyed the hall, miraculously the fire men were able to prevent the fire spreading into the church, although the organ was damaged by smoke and fumes. Services were held in the village hall and the Primary Hall (opened in September 1952) hosted the mid-week activities. The rebuilt premises were opened on 23 January 1954.


A manse was acquired in 1903, purchased from Dr H Busy Hodges in Wheatfield Villa. In 1934 the church considered the disposal of the manse and they purchased "Windyridge" in Oakfields Avenue in 1939.


The Knebworth Congregational Guild was an evening meeting held once a week between October and March. The Annual Church Meeting was held as a part of the Guild programme.


The Church newsletter was instituted in 1939 as a leaflet, its form has not changed.


The Sunday School was established not long after the opening of the Church. For much of its life the Sunday School was regarded as a separate organisation within the life of the Church with its own officers, committee and accounts. At the end of 1971, however, it came to be regarded as a part of the Church itself and was renamed Junior Church. Although the Sunday School meets on a Sunday morning now, when it first began classes were held on a Sunday afternoon. The Church has had a Youth Fellowship for the senior members of the Sunday School since about 1949 and it has been known by a variety of different names.


The Boys Brigade was established in 1942 and disbanded in 1956, hence the loan of the instruments to the Welwyn Garden City Company (see NR16/5/7-8). Knebworth Congregational Church also hosted a Pilot Company (see NR16/5/9). Pilots was a denominational organisation for children which sought to train them for the voyage of life by games and studies which were given a nautical slant. The Knebworth Company closed in 1956.


In May 1972 the Congregational Church at Knebworth became Knebworth United Reformed Church. In 1996 the Knebworth United Reformed Church and the Methodist Church at Knebworth united under the name of Trinity Church, Knebworth.

Link to NRA Record:

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