This information is from "The Baptist Magazine", "The Baptist Reporter", and "A History of the English Baptists" (vol 4) by Joseph Ivimey, 1830.
[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]
On Wednesday, May 28, 1817, the churches in this Association held their annual meeting at Great Ellingham. In the morning, the Rev. Jonathan Carver, of Necton, preached, from Heb.ix.28. In the afternoon, the Rev. Samuel Green, of East Dereham, preached, from Isaiah, lv.10,11. In the evening, the Rev. L. Ellington, of West-row, Mildenhall, Suffolk, being present, was requested to preach, and very obligingly consenting, delivered an animated discourse from Matt.xxviii.19,20. The presence and blessing of the great Head of the church made the services of the day both pleasing and profitable to many.
The next annual meeting will be held at East Dereham, on the Wednesday in Whitsun-week, when Messrs. Carver and Hatcher are expected to preach.
On Thursday, Nov. 4, 1824, a new Chapel was opened at Ellingham, in the County of Norfolk, for the use of the Particular Baptist Church in that place, under the pastoral care of Mr. Hatcher.
In the morning, Mr. Williams, of East Dereham, preached from Psalm cxviii.25; in the afternoon, Mr. Kinghorn, of Norwich, preached from Psalm xc.I5; and in the evening, Mr. Williams preached from Romans v.7,8,9. The devotional services were conducted by Messrs. Hatcher, Kinghorn, Atkins (of Wymondham, Independent), and Williams.
There has been a Particular Baptist Church at Ellingham for upwards of 110 years. The old meeting-house had been long in a decayed state, and for several years past the people have been subscribing for the new Chapel. They had raised about £400 before they began to build, and about £150 more is requisite to clear all the expenses of the building: which sum (with the exception of about £19 collected when the Chapel was opened), they intend to raise among themselves, without making any application to the public - this is praiseworthy, though they have a small endowment.
This church was formed September 29, 1699. The meeting-house was at first very small; it has since been enlarged. It is now forty-two feet long and eighteen wide, has two galleries, and will contain about three hundred persons.
Mr. Wright, the first pastor, died July 21, 1721. Mr. John Miller succeeded him: who left the church, May 31, 1733, on account of an unhappy division. Mr. Dunkhorn was the next pastor: he died March 25, 1767, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. Mr. John Sparkhall was his successor, and preached Mr. Dunkhorn's funeral sermon: he continued pastor twenty-one years, and died March 9, 1789. Mr. Hook, of Ingham, preached his funeral sermon. Mr. John Ewing, from Worstead, accepted the pastoral office July 20, 1790, in which he remained fourteen or fifteen years. He died February 1, 1805. The present pastor is Mr. C. Hatcher.
The Rev. J. Cragg, late of Blakeney, has accepted a unanimous invitation to the old baptist church at Great Ellingham, having been compelled to resign his charge at Blakeney in consequence of indisposition occasioned, it is believed, by the sea air. He is to enter upon his new undertaking at the end of March.
On Lord's-day evening, Aug. 22nd, our pastor, Mr. Craig, baptized four female believers. We trust an impression was made on the attentive assembly. Tracts were distributed at the close of the service. C.H.
The baptist chapel in this village having been closed for three sabbaths for the purpose of erecting two side galleries for the accommodation of the sabbath school, other alterations, and painting, was re-opened on Lord's day, the 12th of November, when the pastor, Mr. Cragg, preached morning and evening, and in the afternoon, Mr. Brooks of Norwich, superintendent of the Princes Street school, addressed very efficiently the parents and children. The attendance was good, and the day a hallowed one to those assembled. After the sermon in the evening, three young persons were baptized in the name of Jesus. The collections on the occasion were £11 16s. 8½d.
On Monday evening, the teachers and a few friends took tea together, when addresses were delivered and resolutions adopted respecting further attempts of usefulness.
Jubilee Services. The 150th anniversary of the baptist church in this village, was celebrated by its friends on September 27th, 29th, and 30, and October 1st. The services on those several days were appropriate and profitable. On the evening of the 27th, the church met for prayer. On the 29th a public prayer meeting was held, when a goodly number attended. On the Lord's day three sermons were preached by the pastor (the Rev. J. Cragg) and the Rev. J.G. Pigg of Wymondham. On the afternoon of Monday, October 1st, two addresses were delivered by Rev. G. Gould of Norwich, and the Rev. J. Alexander of the same city; the former on the "Past and Present," the latter on "The Present Duty of Christians." A public tea was partaken of, after which a public meeting was held; Jeremiah Colman, Esq., one of the deacons of St. Mary's, Norwich, presided, who referred, with pathos, to his associations with this place in the days of childhood. A brief history of the church was read by the pastor, in which it stated that he was only the eighth pastor, the Rev. Robert Robinson, formerly of Cambridge, was baptized at this place, that during the present pastorate of two years and a half the church had doubled its numbers, new side galleries had been erected, that £200 had been expended in alterations and repairs; the sabbath school, containing 128 children. Prayer was presented, and addresses delivered by the Revs. C. Hatcher (formerly pastor), J. Alexander, G. Gould, J. Cozens, jun., J. Smith of Foulsham, Pigg and Brasted of Blakeney.
At the request of the church, Mr. Alexander introduced a scheme for the raising monies to build a suitable minister's house, on the chapel premises, at a cost of £200, collecting cards were taken for £92, and the chairman, with his usual benevolence, offered the last £10 of the second hundred; the pastor and deacons will be happy to receive contributions towards this desirable object.
The weather was adverse to those religious gatherings; the attendance was good, the tone of the sermons and speeches excellent. More than £11 were collected on behalf of the chapel fund, and near £9 realized by the ladies of the congregation in the sale of fancy articles.
Died, on Saturday the 4th of March, at Great Ellingham, Norfolk, aged 76 years, the Rev. C. Hatcher, who for nearly thirty-seven years, was the respected pastor of the baptist church in that village, which he resigned in 1842 from the premature infirmities of age. His end was peace, dying, in his own language, "resting on the bosom of Jesus." His funeral sermon was preached on Lord's day the 12th, to a large congregation, by the present pastor the Rev. J. Cragg, between whom and the deceased an uninterrupted excellent Christian feeling had prevailed.
See also the Great Ellingham parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.