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Fish St. Christ Church / Congregational Church

This was originally a barn in 1796, and was converted into a meeting house. Some cottages were also part of the property.   When the Independent cause became established they shared a minister with St Albans. By 1802 they had their own minister, Samuel Burder. He was succeeded by John Smith in 1806, who enlarged the chapel to nearly twice its original size in 1807 providing present frontage. It was nearly full on Sunday evenings and the afternoon service was well supported as well, with a Sunday school of 40. But the congregation had fallen to 3 by the late 1840’s as many of the regulars had transferred their allegiance to the Mount Zion Baptist Chapel. The chapel began to decay and Smith himself died in 1848 aged 74 and is said to have been buried under the pulpit. When he was replaced by William Robinson attendance improved, repairs carried out and a gallery and school room were attended. It was not unusual for nearly 100 people to attend both the morning and evening services. Robinson died in 1854. Other pastors followed and David Richardson is particularly of note, staying for 25 years. He oversaw the installation of gas lighting piped from the new works across the road in 1865 at the cost of £10.6s 1d (approx. £10 30pence). He also put railings along the front of the chapel and put up a weather vane, (now in the Redbourn Museum). However, all was not well within the congregation as another group broke away to set up another chapel in Crown Street. The congregation was well served by Michael Harborough for 27 years. After that, the spiritual needs of the people were served by students from New College London. After 1892, when short of funds, they shared a pastor with St Albans until 1926 when the students returned. After the Second World War, the chapel went out of use and was leased to the Council, they used it as a library, education centre and welfare centre. The chapel is now once again a house of prayer.

Interior in 1900
Grave Stones in 1950's
Fish Street in 1900's with the chapel on the left

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Charity Information

Chair : Ian Caldwell
Treasurer : Teresa Finnigan
Secretary : Russell Thomas

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