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A prayer for the pandemic:
Dear Lord, We
Pray for our hurting world,
Ravaged by Covid. We
Ask that as we journey slowly through this phase of relaxation of restrictions, unsure of the way forward, that
You will walk alongside us, guiding and
Enfolding us in your loving arms, giving us strength and
Reassurance that no matter how long and arduous the journey may be, you will always be by our side.
This we ask in your name, Amen
By Eva Bangle, Secretary, Newport Pagnell URC
What have we been doing?
March 2020 – corona virus! Muddiford Chapel had to close! Well the building closed – but each Sunday, from the first one after lock-down, every member of the congregation has been able to meet on Zoom (thanks to one very tech-y family!). It not only helped us to support one another through a very difficult time but strangely has brought us closer together. For much of the time we've met on Wednesday evenings as well to listen to testimonies, learn about various charities, & just have fun & fellowship, in consequence of which we've learned some very interesting facts about each other!
Buildings may close but the church is always open!
What was it?
A stone beside a stream? Yes, a foundation stone for what was to become a place of worship for generations to come! It was 1845 and the local congregation, which until then had met in a small wooden chapel adjoining a cottage in Muddiford, were able to purchase a plot of land by the Colam Stream for a larger stone chapel to be built to house their growing congregation. The chapel built at a cost of £250, was almost entirely paid for by members of the parish and was officially opened on September 9th 1846. 110 people attended the opening service and the total offerings received on that day amounted to £11, equivalent to almost £600 today! A generous benefactor paid for a solid oak front door, which is in place to this day.
What's in a name?
Nothing is for ever; the building was initially known as The Independent Chapel, then Muddiford Congregational Church and since 1972 Muddiford United Reformed Church. Over the years different ministers have over-seen the church, different people have taken services, various folk have worshipped there but through it all the welcome and witness remain the same.
Similarly the early days of the Sunday School (led by John Prideaux for 36years) with anniversary services & festivals may be a far cry from a more recent youth club, but the message of Jesus has reached young people down the generations.
On 22nd December 2012 when the Christmas decorations were in place, the building was badly flooded (you can't be much closer to water!). A disaster? Maybe but, as part of the re-ordering process, a decision was made to remove most of the pews and replace them with comfortable chairs; meanwhile a cross, crafted from one of the pews, was erected on the wall at the front of the church.