Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Fishponds Baptist Church, Fishponds
Fishponds Baptist Church (link to Church's website)
Downend Road, BS16 5AS,
Fishponds, Gloucestershire.

Cemeteries

This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1841, and we understand it is still open.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/330/6/2/11) provides an interesting insight into the beginnings of Fishponds Baptist Church. The entry is for a place of worship for Baptists meeting in "a room in Dr Bompas' private house" in Stapleton. The room would accomodate "about 85", and the estimated congregation on March 30th was 55 at morning service, and 50 in the evening. The return was completed by George Joseph Bompas, M.D., who described himself as Deacon, of "Fishponds near Bristol".

He remarked that "The use of this room for public worship is only a temporary arrangement. Till lately this congregation worshipped in a chapel attached to the Fishponds Asylum and used by a Baptist congregation for nearly a century. In May last we were removed from it by order of the visiting magistrates. The average attendance for the last 4 years was about 110. A new chapel is being built, to be ready about Midsummer. No. of sittings (without galleries) about 480". And to explain his role as Deacon, when filling in the form - "there has been no settled minister since May 1850. One is now engaged whose duties will commence in June".

The account of the Church's history on its website provides the additional detail that the Asylum was run by Dr. George Gwennet Bompas from his house in Manor Road, and meetings were held in its Chapel. The Bompas family owned land known as "Rabbit Burrows", and it is suggested that they either gave the land for the Church to be built, or made it available at a nominal price.

George Joseph "Bompas or Bumpus" is recorded in Alumni Cantabrigiensis as probably the second son of Dr. George Gwinnett, "of Fishponds, Bristol, who kept a private asylum there", and b. Sept. 6 1812. He entered Queens College Cambridge at Michaelmas, 1830, and "studied medicine at Edinburgh University, 1832-6; M.D. (Edin.) 1836. Practising as a doctor at Fishponds in 1841; in charge of the annexe to his father's asylum; kept a boy's school there, 1844-55; removed to Upper Park Street, Clifton, and continued the school there; then at Burlington Buildings, Redland, till 1859. Went to Canada, 1861. Of Bury, Quebec, in 1873..." He is recorded on the 1851 Census as "M.D. Edin: (not practising) and now Schoolteacher", aged 38, living in Fishponds House, and born in Stapleton.

The removal of the Baptist meeting from the Chapel in the Asylum may have been as a consequence of the passing of the Lunacy Act of 1845, and no reflection on the Bompas family. See also Wells Genealogy Pages (Bumpas Contents) for more family history details.

The burial ground, shown on Old Maps adjacent to, and to the left of the Church, is still in existence in the present day.

Denomination

Now or formerly Baptist.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Church is located at OS grid reference ST6377376071. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.
Last updated on 14 Feb 2014 at 13:57.

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This Report was created 23 Jul 2017 - 03:23:48 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 4 Jul 2017 at 10:50.

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