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LONDON STREET MEETING HOUSE
Our own building was orginally known as the 'London Street Meeting House' and was begun in 1800 where the foundations were laid. It was opened on 25 August 1801 under the pastorate of Revd Joseph Jefferson, who was described as a poetical and antiquarian writer as well as an earnest and successful Minister.
The Evangelical Magazine of October 1801 gives the following account of the opening services:
August 25th - A well built and commodious Independent Meeting House was opened at Basingstoke, Hants. The services of the day commenced at an early hour in the morning with prayer, as preparatory to the more public work. The forenoon service began with prayer....In the evening.....engaged in prayer.....Mr. Jefferson, the pastor of the place, concluded the pleasing and solemn services of the day. The glory of the former house has not been little in the faithful preaching of the Gospel, by a succession of ten pastors, from the time of the Reverend J. Hook....to the present day. May the glory of this latter house be greater than that of the former!
John Curwen was Minister from 1838-1841.
Born in Heckmondwike, Yorkshire in 1816, he was well known as a British Music Educator who developed the sol fa system of musical notation. He was the son of a Congregational Minister. He entered the Ministry himself in 1838 serving for a brief period at London Street until 1841 which was probably his first "posting". It appears he retired from the Ministry in 1864 and subsequently died in Manchester in 1880.