The Chapel

The Abbey Centre Chapel

The Chapel has been built to provide a sanctuary in which people may sense the presence of God. Please enter it quietly and reverently. Please use it prayerfully and lovingly. May you leave it with God’s spirit in your mind, God’s peace in your heart, and faith to live your life so that God is honoured in all you think, say or do.


For more information on the history of the Chapel and the significance of its construction and contents, please keep reading.


History of the Chapel

Abbey Centre chapel Abbey Road Baptist Church was formed in 1893. The church, which formerly met in Abbey Road, Far Cotton, now meets as Abbey Centre Baptist Church in The Abbey Centre and Chapel, East Hunsbury. The Chapel in many ways enshrines this heritage. The former premises, now used as housing, are called Chapel House.

The Abbey Centre main building, in Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, was opened in January 1987 for the purpose of serving social and spiritual needs in South Northampton. The popularity of this provision was soon made clear as The Abbey Centre would be fully used for community activities and would only be available for services and other devotional purposes on weekdays if regular users were inconvenienced. So in 1988 the decision was made to add a small chapel seating about 120 – suitable for weddings, funerals, church meetings, and private devotions.

The Abbey Centre Chapel was opened by Abbey Centre Baptist Church Life Deacon, Mr. Frank Summerford and dedicated as a place for prayer and devotion on Saturday September 23rd, 1989. Two flower stands and a loop system for people with hearing difficulties are in memory of Frank who died in 1994.


The Doors and PulpitChapel door lock

The solid oak front doors of the Chapel, the doors into the sanctuary, those behind the pulpit leading to the vestry, and the door to the left of the organ, all come from the Abbey Road building. The pulpit is the top section of the Abbey Road pulpit which stood on a platform at the top of stairs.


The Wooden Crosses

Three crosses in the Chapel; above your head as you enter the sanctuary; behind the pulpit and in the vestry, are all made from one piece of wood. This originally formed the front of the organ loft balcony in the Abbey Road building. The wood was cut and planed by Arthur Michell at Mereway Upper School. Two of the crosses were made by Tony Hollowell of Towcester Road Methodist Church. The cross behind the pulpit was hand-carved by Mr. Arthur Warwick, a regular worshipper in the chapel who died in 2002. The Celtic cross, usually on the communion table, was made by the then minister, Rev. Dr. Ted Hale, from English oak cut in 1984.


The small pipe organChapel pipe organ

This was installed in March 1991 and was made by Ken Tickell, one-time organist for St.Mary’s Anglican Church, Far Cotton. The organ was a gift to the church by regular worshipper Miss Winifred Throssell as a memorial to her sister Mrs. Beatrice Elizabeth Griffen who died in 1988.


The Communion table and chairs

These formerly belonged to Mrs. Vera Cox who died in September 1989. They were restored by Mr. Pat Delaney of Hardingstone. The table cover and the pulpit fall were made by church member, Mrs. Mabel Rust.



The wall-plaques previously hung in Abbey Road. The names Webb and Cousins are but two of many names which have regularly featured in the 100-plus years of the church’s life. It has sometimes seemed appropriate to publicly recognise loyal service and generous support which has been given. The continuing generosity of one of these families supplied the chapel chairs and Bibles for the congregation. Similarly, chapel hymn books were given in memoriam.


The Fired-Clay Memorial picture of Jesus in the carpenter’s shop was made by Edwin Murch of Duston for Phyllis Gross in memory of her husband Ernie who died in 1981. It formerly hung above the choir pews in Abbey Road. Ernie was a choir member for fifty years.


The small stained-glass cross

The small stained-glass cross in the center of the ceiling was given in memory of Alec and Lilian Hannah.


The Vestry Chairs

The Vestry chairs were given in memory of Hazel Knight and her mother Amy Knight who both died in 1989.


Cremated Remains

The ashes of former life-deacon Stan Harris were poured into the foundations of the chapel as it was being built, and a number of other people have chosen to have the ashes of their loved ones interred or scattered in the vicinity of the chapel. The Abbey Centre Chapel has become a place of sacred memory for many.


The Painted Window Chapel stain glass window

These were added in 1999 and are a token of thanksgiving for the lives of several people. The concept began when money was given in memory of John Tyndall of Wootton who attended the weekly Bible evenings. A legacy from Winifred Throssell ensured the project could go ahead. As well as the “I AM” New Testament sayings, the windows depict the story of creation in Genesis 1, thus drawing together creation and re-creation. The picture of a man holding hands with a small child is based on a photo of two Abbey Centre members, Frank Summerford and Katie Williams.


The Amnesty Board and Christ-figure

The Christ-figure, which previously stood on the pulpit in Abbey Road, was given by Pam and George White of Delapre. It is made of Olive wood from Jerusalem. It invites us to be one with Christ in helping to carry the cross of suffering which is still borne by many today. Abbey Centre Baptist Church is a member of Amnesty International.

Amnesty BoardThis represents just one aspect of our desire to be alongside poor and oppressed people whoever and wherever they may be. For similar reasons we support Baptist Home Mission and The Baptist Missionary Society.