In 1908 a School Chapel opened in Beech Road. The Beecroft family gave the site for this Chapel, and it was from this Chapel that the Beech Hill Church evolved. Sir John Burgoyne played a prominent part in securing the site at Beech Hill. Both these families came originally from the smallest society in the circuit, Aley Green.
On April 9th 1926 a site was secured for a new Church at Beech Hill. The Beech Road site was sold for a rather low price of £3750 in 1937. The first turf was cut on October 19th with a short service. The stone laying took place on November 29th 1933.
The opening ceremony took place on 23rd May 1934. The architect was Mr G. Withers.
The total cost of the premises was £9200, with another £5,000 paid for the site.
Beech Hill 1934
The church opened with a membership of 64 but within two years this had risen to 164. There were 450 Sunday school children compared with 157 before the church opened.
In the first two years there were 51 Baptisms and 16 marriages.
The Sunday school was so full that two rooms of Maidenhall school were used as well as the church hall.
At first singing was accompanied by a piano but in 1935 on October 2nd the new organ costing £1,000 was opened with a recital.
In 1936 Rev Pratt preached a sermon on 'The peril of petrification' reminding all that a church that stood still was doomed. A prophetic voice for the future!
During the war years 'firewatchers' came on duty in the Church basement. Around 700 evacuees shared the premises as their wartime school. The church was full for both morning and evening services and played a full part in the town activities.
A Short History
Inside Beech Hill
Beech Hill brick laying ceremony.
Dr. J. H. Burgoyne C.B.E.
Members to Ordained Ministry
Reynaldo Leao Neto
Grand Opening of Beech Hill
In 1934 Luton Circuit contained 37 churches and had a staff of 11. By 1964 there were two Luton circuits, South and North. With 6 churches and 2 staff in the Luton South Circuit by 1984.
In 1950 Cardigan Street Methodist church closed and many members joined with Beech Hill.
In 1968 the choirmaster Mr Geoffrey Ball instituted a Concert of Christmas music and carols with the bulk of the proceeds going to the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children. This continued until the choir diminished in size in the late 1990s.
In 1979 the church began offering hospitality to young people travelling to London for the MAYC weekends. These visits continued until the mid 1990s.