We Preach Christ Crucified

Our History

William Early (b. 1774 Winchester) moved into the area from Lockerley, Hampshire. From October 1824 - MAy 1825 he pastoroed the Baptist church at Cranfield before moving to Wootton, with his wife Mary.

A printer by trade, Williams opened a day school in his home in Cause End Road (now called Yew Tree Cottage). Protestant dissenters had been meeting for worship at various homes since 1808, but a further application was made in February 1826 to worship at William's house, supported by Joseph Caves, James Negus, Henry Hekks, Joshua Hull and J.Mays. According to the minute book he recieved a unanimous call from his congegration to become their pastor which he accepted in October 1826.

As the church increased in numbers William sought to acquire mor esuitable building for the meetings of the new Baptist Cause. The Meeting House was built and opened in March 1836 at a cost of 400. The Rev. William Early served the church for 27 years and resigned in 1852. He died in 1853 aged 79 and was buried in the chapel burial ground with his wife Mary, who had died on 19th November 1848, from typhus fever.

In 1853 funds were rasied to build a house adjoining the chapel, for the minister to live in, at a cost of 120. When the house was demolished in 1994 a stone jar was discovered in the cavity, containing documents from William Early's replacement, a pastor Thomas Smith and a list of names of contributors to its erection.

The chapel was extended further in the 1950s when they received a gift of a piece of land from Mrs Doyne-Ditmas which allowed a good sized school room to be added. In 1976 this was extended a second time to form a large school room, kitchen, toilets and meeting rooms.