The Minister from August 1855 to October 1869 was Rev. R.Roberts. However, although his name is recorded in the record of attendances at Communion Services, it does not appear in the Minutes of the Church Meetings. In fact it looks as though pages of the period May 1855 to February 1870 are missing from the book. This is most unfortunate because this period covers the very date on which the present Church building was opened. However, a chance meeting with someone in the lpswich Public Record Office resulted in my obtaining the following item from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
From ‘THE BUILDER’ magazine, 2nd May 1857
“East Bergholt, Suffolk. - On Wednesday, 22nd April, a new Congregational Chapel was opened in this place: Mr. C. F. Hayward, architect. The building is entirely of brick, the material of the neighbourhood, and the various colours are disposed with a view of bringing out the constructive lines. A triplet, with a circle above, fills the end gable, and a lancet-light flanks it on each side, while below is the doorway, with a boldly projecting slated hood. The side windows are lancet-lights, placed singly between buttresses. The roof, 35feet span, is open, and the timbers stained, and the fittings generally are finished in this manner. The amount of contract was £829 including school-room, and the accommodation afforded with this latter addition, which forms also part of the Chapel, is 506 sittings.”
Although the contract price was £829 various additions and changes as the work proceeded brought the final price up to £913-13-6d.. The English Chapel Building Society granted £150 towards the cost. The building contractor was Edward Gibbons of lpswich. There is an interesting description of the building in the Congregational Year Book of the time. This gives much the same information as the article in ‘The Builder’ Magazine but begins with this paragraph: -
“This building is an example of what a little trouble and artistic thought can make out of commonplace materials - the same materials with which the numerous plain and ugly edifices of the last century were piled up without the least regard to beauty of form