The Public Record Office at Ipswich has records on micro-film of baptisms in the first Church from 1689. The first entry is that of Susannah, daughter of James Riddlesdale and Susanna his wife, baptised by Mr. Brinley on 28th March 1689.

In the year 1823 a piece of ground belonging to the Independent Meeting House was appropriated for a burial ground. (This is behind the present Manse.) The first grave was opened for Mrs. Brewer on 15th August 1825 This graveyard was in use until about 1873 and the graveyard book still exists with a plan showing the names and locations of all persons buried therein.

 THE YEARS 1689 TO 1825


 The Dissenting interest of the independent Denomination in the Parish of East Bergholt in the County of Suffolk is not of recent date; like the sturdy oak, on which many a cold and dreary winter has frowned and many a warm and cheerful summer has smiled, it has stood for nearly 200 years, sometimes assuming the appearance of a beautiful apple tree covered with pleasing green leaves, and at other times resembling the same tree in its leafless and apparent state of deadness.

 The first authentic account is in an old book which has been employed to enter a variety of matter and bears date of 1689. It is probable that this was one of the first Dissenting Interests in this county. The first Ministers name that appears in the old book is Mr. Samuel Brinley. He continued his labours until 1694, and was followed by Mr. Foxon, who remained until 1703.

 The Rev. Rice Williams came among the people in 1702 and was settled over them in 1703. By this good man it appears that various sums of money were collected for the First Meeting House, and the place is greatly indebted to him for his own personal contributions. Mr. Williams was a diligent and useful Minister of the Gospel but not a popular preacher, yet in his time the congregation was large, coming from all the surrounding villages.