WHADDON WAY CHURCH – A BRIEF HISTORY!
1965 IN THE BEGINNING…
…… due to the expansion of Bletchley, leaders of the two Baptist Churches decided there was a need for a third Baptist Church in the town. The first meeting of our church took place on 7th March 1965. We had no minister or accommodation so it took place in a local School.
1968 Planning permission for a Terrapin prefabricated timber framed building on the corner of Beaverbrook Court and Whaddon Way was given in February 1968 – for ten years only! The original building, fitted out by many of the congregation, opened on Saturday June 15th 1968. The “temporary” building stood until 2009.
1973 TWO BECOME ONE
In July 1973 due to the expansion of the new City of Milton Keynes, the Anglican authorities suggested that we should consider becoming what was then called an Area of ecumenical Experiment. We could either have two congregations sharing the building, or we could have a united congregation, worshipping together while retaining our beliefs and traditions. In the end, our decision was unanimous to be a united congregation and we believe Whaddon Way to be one of the first ecumenical churches in the country.
1980s -1990s LINKS WITH ST MARY’S
We developed links with St Mary’s over the years joining with them for occasional services and in the organisation of events such as “Church on the Green”, Alpha Courses, Christmas and Easter Cracked, and community events in West Bletchley.
2001 FRESH START
In 2001 church members agreed to rebuild on the existing site. Permission for a new building was granted by Milton Keynes Council in 2004. The project to rebuild Whaddon Way Church saw God at work in a wonderful way. On Pentecost Sunday 2009 the last service was held in the old building. The following week we took up residence in our new temporary home at the Frank Moran Community Centre in Melrose Avenue. Shortly thereafter demolition of the old building took place and work on the new building on the Beaverbrook Court site began.
Faith in God’s leading; sacrificial giving by members of the congregation, grants and a mortgage enabled the new building to be completed by Pentecost 2012.
2013 The Commissioning and dedication service of the Whaddon Way Church Centre took place the following spring on Saturday 27 April 2013 and we were delighted that almost all of our former Ministers were able to be present.
2016 We began developing community activities based in our new building and thinking and praying extensively about future ministry and our vision for the Church and who should be our next Minister. In May 2016 we felt that it was right to invite the Rev Steve Summerfield to be our full time minister. He agreed and on 17 September we held an induction Service to welcome Steve and his family to Whaddon Way and to Bletchley.
2017 In October 2017 as a result of a combination of God’s generous provisions and sacrificial giving from the church family we were able to pay off the loan for our new building.
For the first time, we also signed up as a venue for the Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter Project, welcoming on average ten guests each Sunday evening over to Monday morning, converting the main church into a dormitory and providing meals.
A more detailed history of the Church can be obtained from the Church office.