Woodford Halse Archive

Front View of St Mary’s Moravian Church early 1900s Hinton Chapels, Hinton Road, Woodford Halse

Woodford Short History

Church and Chapel

From the reign of Henry the Eighth onwards, St Mary's church weathered the changes from Catholic to Protestant back to Catholic and finally to Protestant again. Its fortunes evidently waxed and waned – records talk of broken stained glass, missing and loose seats in the chancel, the need for a bell and parts of the church needing paving. In 1706 the churchwardens repaired the roof and in 1749 they were repairing the church bells.

In the 18th Century other places of worship also began to appear in Woodford Halse.

First came a community of Moravians, protestant Christian evangelists that trace their origins to persecuted protestants in Bohemia and Moravia. In 1788 William Hunt licensed the property now known as School House as a Moravian preaching place. The congregation grew so that only 21 years later, they were able to build a chapel and minister's house in Parsons Street. A new chapel was built after the community’s 100th anniversary and opened in 1906. This building and the minister’s house (“The Manse”) next door still stands.

In the early 19th Century, Methodism reached Woodford. In 1808 a Methodist preaching place somewhere in the village was registered and in 1813 a second. In 1820 a building at Farndon Mill was registered as a preaching place. Other Methodist preaching places are known in Hinton and by 1879 the first purpose built chapel (together with a stable and coach house to accommodate the visiting preacher’s transport) had been built near the junction of Phipps Road and Hinton Road. A new chapel – the one still in use today – was built alongside it and opened in 1902.

In 1917 the Roman Catholic Church of St Joseph opened its doors. Built beside what is now the Social Club on the site of three cottages, the church ceased to be used and is now a private house. Today, Catholics from the village worship either in Aston Le Walls or in Daventry.

By kind permission of John Williams