Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.(Hebrews 13:8 WEB)
Hartley Wintney Baptist Church is the oldest Baptist Church in North East Hampshire. Meetings started in 1805 in a room in the village and because this soon became too small, the chapel was built and opened on 8th July 1807. Initially this chapel was run by the Baptist Church in Reading, but on November 7th 1808 it gained independence and became a Baptist Church in its own right. Each November, we hold a Church Anniversary service when we give thanks for what the Lord has done through the church in the past, celebrate what he is doing among us in the present and look forward to how he will continue to be at work in the future.
The church really comprises the members who have committed themselves to serve Jesus Christ together among the local community. However, the building provides a place for us to meet and gives continuity over the years. We continue to be grateful for those who had the foresight over 200 years ago to acquire land and build a chapel so that there could be a continuing witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ among the people of Hartley Wintney.
The building has undergone a number of changes in the past two centuries. Initially in 1808 there were thirty members but within two years the membership had increased to sixty-nine people and by this time a gallery had already been added to accommodate the growing congregation. During the late 1830’s and early 1840’s the church thrived and the building was further extended.
The most recent change to the building was to insert double doors out on to the pavement in the front of the church as a more welcoming entrance than the door at the side which had served as the main entrance for around 200 years.
Much of this information is taken from ‘The Strict Baptist Chapels of England: Volume 1 The Chapels of Surrey and Hampshire’ by Ralph F Chambers which was published in 1952.
The following have served the church as pastors.