A Brief History
Up until 1889 about 30 Baptists had been meeting in the Temperance Hall on Millards Hill in Welton, but because of its dilapidated condition they were looking for another building. A few hundred yards away, the Primitive Free Methodists were also moving to another building, so the Baptists offered £680 for the Methodist Church which had been built in 1830. The offer was accepted and Welton Baptist Church was established in West Road in 1889. Church numbers remained fairly low for many years but during the 1970's and 80's numbers rose from 32 in 1974 to over a hundred in 1989.
The chapel was added to in 1975 when we bought a second hand site office to be used for extra rooms to cope with the increased numbers. The Hut as it was affectionately known was moved from the top of a multi-storey car park in Swindon to the area behind the church at a cost of £536. When we bought it, it was said to have a life of about 3 more years ... We demolished it 30 years later, so it had been good value for money and held many good memories for many people!
During the 1980's our challenge was how to get more and more people into our small chapel. In 1984 we did some interior alterations allowing us to increase the size of the worship area and pews were exchanged for chairs. Later on still with increasing numbers we started to look for alternative buildings to accommodate our congregation which by then was around 180. We looked at existing buildings and the possibilities of building from scratch.
Eventually when doors had been shut on all the opportunities that we had looked at, our Sunday morning
service moved to Norton Hill secondary school in 1993 but we remained at the Welton chapel for our evening services.
By 2010 it had become obvious that the Norton Hill facilities did not give us enough scope especially for our growing eNeRGy ministries (children's and youth work), so we negotiated with Somervale secondary school to move there on a regular basis. As part of the agreement, the school agreed to alteration and renovation work resulting in a new stage and hall area which is a fitting size for our Sunday morning congregations of 200 - 250 people. We now have the use each Sunday of many of the school facilities and we also hire it for other events during the year.