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A Bury St Edmunds church spanning the ages

A Bury St Edmunds deacon has published a book about his church on its 220-year anniversary.

Terry Tyrrell, 70, of Hospital Road, spent 18 months researching and pouring over documents to chronicle the lifespan of the Garland Street Baptist Church, in Bury St Edmunds, from its inception to the modern day.

The book, entitled The History of Garland Street Baptist Church, covers a number of characters who Terry said have been ‘huge pillars in Bury St Edmunds’ and things the church has done to help out in the community.

The church back in 1896. (39518597)
The church back in 1896. (39518597)

“It was not anything I anticipated in taking that much time or writing that much on but it was just such a fascinating history”, Terry said.

“My thinking was that if I could do that now, then there would be something that would be a recording of what happened in the church through that time, and I wasn’t sure whether anybody else would ever get around to doing something like that, so I just decided I’d make the time and do it, so it was a labour of love.”

The idea to write the book was sparked after Terry gave a talk one Sunday service a few years back on Cornelius Elven, the pastor of the church from 1823 - 1853 who grew the congregation from around 49 to 650 people during his time.

The interior of the church in 1950. (39518649)
The interior of the church in 1950. (39518649)

The book covers how the church has sought to serve the community through good times as well as the bad, including two world wars.

In the First World War for example, the church continued its outreach in Barton, Fornham, Higham, Sicklesmere and Whepstead and opened up some of its rooms for the 'social convenience' of soldiers passing through the area.

The book also covers the introduction of the Bury Drop-In service, which started back in September 2015, when the first two homeless guests were served by 30 volunteers.

The book is £10, and anyone interested in purchasing a copy can email Terry on history@garlandstreet.org.uk .

Cornelius Elven, who was pastor of the church from 1823-1873. (39518800)
Cornelius Elven, who was pastor of the church from 1823-1873. (39518800)

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