Time capsule tells of church past
A Baptist church in Kettering received a glimpse into its history when builders discovered a 103-year-old time capsule
The capsule was placed in a stone laid in the foyer of Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering in 1911, under a stained glass window of Carey himself.
Preserved in the specially-made tin was a programme from the stone laying ceremony of the building, along with newspapers from the week of November 4th, a copy of The Kettering Leader, The Baptist Times
, The Baptist Herald
and The British Weekly
The programme features a letter from the then minister Revd William H Higgins revealing why the building was built. He writes how in 20 years the church had grown from its original 50 members to 204, with an additional 500 in the Sunday School. There was now a “pressing demand for more adequate accommodation”, he explained. He went on to highlight donors, including £500 allocated from the Baptist Union 20th century fund, and the church’s desire to open free of debt.
The capsule was discovered during major refurbishment of the worship area.
This involved moving the foundation stone along with the Carey window in order to open the front of the church.
Chairman of the renovation project Keith Mitchell said the church was delighted – and surprised – that its forefathers had the foresight to place the specially-made metal capsule there.
‘We had absolutely no idea that something like this was waiting to be found. The contents have been really well preserved.
‘We spent quite a lot of time going through them, the newspapers are very interesting.’
Carey Memorial Baptist Church was a plant from nearby Fuller Baptist Church, forming in 1892 to celebrate the centenary of the Baptist Missionary Society (now BMS World Mission).
It grew and would become independent, prompting the need for the new building.