Chenies Baptist Church
Chenies Baptist Church has been a place of Christian worship for nearly 250 years, and today continues under the stewardship of Malcolm Hazell.
In 1760, an independent Christian Fellowship was formed in Green Street, Chorleywood, in a room specially prepared for the purpose. In 1773, the congregation had leased a former orchard at the east end of the village and the chapel was built in 1779. In 1794 the baptistery was dug inside the chapel. Today, people continue to confess their faith by going through the waters of this historic baptistery. In 1799, the front of the meeting house was taken down and the building extended by 12ft to the south-west. A new façade was built, with one round-arched window either side of a central doorway and a row of three similar windows on the first storey, giving light to the gallery. The pulpit and benches date from the late 19th century. The vestry was extended in 1833 and a schoolroom was built over it in about 1850. The front porch dates from 1838.
The church of St Michael, the village parish church, in regular use and venue for various activities. The present church dates from the late 15th and early 16th centuries, replacing the earlier, mainly wooden church dating from the 12th century when the village was known as Isenhampstead.
Following a period of disrepair in the 18th century, a major period of repairs and amendments was begun in 1829 by Lord Wriothsley Russell, rector for 57 years. This involved the closure of the church for part of the 1830s, during which time Lord Russell’s father, the 6th Duke of Bedford allowed the Long Room in the Manor House to be used for services.The exterior walls had their flint facing reworked in the 1860s. Inside, there are many items of interest, from the fine 12th century 'Aylesbury' style font and medieval brasses, through to the Victorian windows and beyond.
The Bedford Chapel
Not normally open to the public, though visible through the glazed screen in the church, the Bedford Chapel, contains what the architectural historian Nickolaus Pevsner described as: "as rich a store of funeral monuments as any parish church of England".
The Two Churches of Chenies
We are blessed with two wonderful churches in the Village.