Catalogue ReferenceD/N45
TitleRecords of Pangbourne Congregational (later United Reformed) Church
Description[For more information about the records in this collection please contact Berkshire Record Office.]


CHURCH ADMINISTRATION : church books, 1868-1934; minutes of church meetings, 1868-1999; minutes of annual church meetings, 1906-1925, 1935-1997 (incomplete); general correspondence, 1925-1942, 1953-2000; papers re visitation, 1980-1982; annual reports, 1904, 1965-1966/7 (incomplete); proposals for demolition of church hall, 1998; headed notepaper, 20 cent.

DEACONS : minutes, 1914-1972.

ELDERS : minutes, 1972-2001; statement of accounts, 1983.

COMMITTEES : Brighter Services committee minutes, 1931.

TREASURER : accounts, 1970-1988; anniversary celebration accounts, 1846-1849; annual statements of accounts, 1892-1900, 1913, 1929-1994/5 (incomplete).

PROPERTY RECORDS : copy trust deeds and appointments of trustees (1843-1929); bills and vouchers re sale of old and purchase of new chapel, 1928-1933; letters re organ, 1916; papers re new porch, 1937-1938; plan of site, 1949; papers re repairs, 1965-1969; report on buildings, 1994; accounts of subscriptions for enlargement, 1841; church repair accounts, 1871, 1881; seat subscription accounts, 1870; inventory, 1968; papers re proposals to develop land for car park, 1980-1993; papers re Scheme for Trust, 1910-1914.

CHURCH ORGANISATIONS : Sunday School minutes of teachers' meeting, 1873, cradle rolls, 1929-1934, 1964-1967, 1989-1999, lists of scholars, 1909-1910, c.1966-1976, miscellaneous, c.1868-1896, c.1966-1976; Ladies Guild programmes, 1966-1977.

REGISTRATION AND MEMBERSHIP : baptisms, c.1868-1921, 1928-1930, 1940-1977, 1984; marriages, 1882-1893 (unofficial); burials, 1880-1884, 1984; registers and rolls of members, 1868-1910, c.1934-1992; papers re transfer of members, 1907-1910, 1927-1929, 1940, 1963-1986.

SERVICE OF THE CHURCH : registers of services, 1951-1976; special orders of service, 1938, 1941, 1965; church rules, 1887, 1893, 1942; constitutions, 1942, 1970-1971, 2000; copy certificates registering building for worship and marriages (1929); papers on proposed Covenant with other denominations, 1976-1982.

MINISTER : details of call of ministers, (1825)-1916; testimonial and subscription to Revd William Woolley, 1848; press cuttings and photograph re Revd Heber Rosier, 1882-1913; letters of resignation of Revd John Taylor, 1912; letters re proposed joint pastorate with Goring Temperance Hall, 1926; correspondence re call of Revd Stuart Good, 1961; correspondence re pastorate of Revd Robert Batchelder, 1978-1981.

PUBLICATIONS : Pangbourne sections of Reading and District Congregational Monthly, 1938-1953 (incomplete); church newsletter, 1955, 1965-2001 (incomplete); yearbooks, c.1973-1987.

OTHER BODIES : Berks, South Oxon and South Bucks Congregational Union : correspondence and returns re grant applications 1913, 1963-1971; United Reformed Church : annual returns, 1973-1999 (incomplete); Reading Area Consultation papers, 1973-1975; West Reading Group minutes and agenda papers, 1979-1999; London Missionary Society : receipt, 1916; minutes of public meetings, 1870-1883.

MISCELLANEOUS : history and memoir of church, 2001; catalogue of 1834 library, c.1983; photographs of [church members], c.1894, c.1980s-90s; photograph of church, c.1937; posters, handbills and invitations to special services and tea meetings, 1915-1916, 1929-c.1960s; letters of thanks from families of German POWs sent clothing, 1947; order of service re Trinity Congregational Church centenary, 1949; press cuttings, 1968-1970.
RepositoryBerkshire Record Office (code: GB 005)
Extent25 vols, 69 bdls, 9 docs
Admin HistoryThe early history of the church is somewhat obscure, but preaching appears to have begun under the auspices of Reading Evangelical Society in 1797. The first chapel may have opened in 1815.

The fellowship was constituted in 1824, when a chapel was built in Whitchurch Road, Pangbourne. It was enlarged in c.1841. The trust deed of 1843 established the church as part of the Congregational Union. Between 1825 and 1857, the Revd William Woolley was minister at Pangbourne, "a pious fathful and loving Christian Minister - universally respected", as well as conducting a private school in the village. He was followed by a succession of Independent and Baptist ministers. By 1868 the church remained Independent/Congregational, but almost half the members were Baptists.

In 1867 a Baptist local lay preacher, John Oldham, retired from business as a tailor and draper in Wallingford and was called to the pastorate of Pangbourne. He reorganised the church in 1868; records had not previously been kept. In 1874 Mr Oldham was formally recognised as minister by the Congregational Association. The chapel was repaired in 1871 and 1881. Oldham resigned in 1885 shortly before his death.

The chapel was enlarged in 1892 (from 200 to 300 seats) and in 1893 was formally renamed Pangbourne Congregational Church.

In 1929 the old Chapel was sold and the church reopened in the former Quaker meeting house in Reading Road, Pangbourne. The pews and organ of the old building were transferred to the new one.

During the Second World War, the church ran a Forces Canteen. In 1946-1947 use of the church was offered to German prisoners of war awaiting repatriation. German hymn books and Bibles were made available and services were led by "a lady who had been married to a German pastor". The prisoners later joined the normal morning service. Presents were sent to the prisoners' families.

After a joint pastorate with Basildon Congregational Church in the 1940s, the church had no minister between 1947 and 1957. From 1961 it shared ministry with Theale Congregational Church (see D/N 40). In 1978-1979 a visiting American minister served the church.

Pangbourne joined the United Reformed Church in 1972. In 2000 the church was renamed Pangbourne with Theale URC, following the closure of Theale URC the previous year. However the church closed itself in 2001.
AcquisitionDeposited in May 2001 (acc. 6760)

Schedule of accessions
Acc. 6760 : 1/1/1-3; 1/2/1-6; 1/3/1-10; 1/4/1-2; 1/5/1; 2/1/1-5; 3/1/1-3; 3/2/1; 4/1/1; 5/1/1-3; 5/2/1-3; 6/2/1; 6/3/1-6; 6/4/1; 6/5/1-3; 7/1/1-4; 7/2/1; 8/1/1-2; 8/2/1-5; 8/3/1; 9/1/1-4; 9/2/1; 9/3/1-3; 10/1-7; 12/1/1-9; 12/2/1; 13/1/1-2; 13/2/1-4; 13/3/1; 14/1-10.
ArrangementClassification scheme: Non-conformist churches

[This scheme shows how the collection is arranged. This collection does not include every type of record in the scheme. See the summary for records included in this collection.]

1 Church administration
1/1 Church book
1/2 Church meeting minutes
1/3 General correspondence & administrative files
1/4 Papers presented to Church meeting
1/5 Miscellaneous

2 Deacons
2/1 Minutes
2/2 Miscellaneous

3 Elders
3/1 Minutes
3/2 Miscellaneous

4 Committees
4/1 Minutes
4/2 Miscellaneous

5 Treasurer
5/1 Accounts
5/2 Statements of accounts
5/3 Miscellaneous

6 Property records
6/1 Trustees minutes
6/2 Title deeds
6/3 Fabric papers
6/4 Accounts
6/5 Miscellaneous

7 Church Organisations
7/1 Sunday School
7/2 Others

8 Registration and membership
8/1 Registers
8/2 Membership registers and lists
8/3 Miscellaneous

9 Service of the Church
9/1 Service registers
9/2 Orders of service
9/3 Miscellaneous

10 Minister

11 Charities
11/1 General or united charities
11/2 Specific named charities

12 Publications
12/1 Magazines
12/2 Miscellaneous

13 Other bodies

14 Miscellaneous
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