A couple of weeks back, I preached at Pollard Evangelical Church, Kettering. My digital camera came along too, and these are the results:
Firstly, Kettering Parish Church. It is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The chancel is in the Early Decorated Gothic of about 1300, while the rest of the building is in the Perpendicular style. I confess that I prefer the Perpendicular myself. The spire is not Medieval, it was put up in 1887 to replace a slightly shorter spire. The whole building was restored in the 19th century. It is occupied by a congregation of decidedly High Church principles. This is probably the only building in Kettering today that Dr. Gill would recognise from his childhood here. Of course, being a Baptist, he never went inside this building. Indeed, it was his schoolmaster's insistence that young John should come to the Parish Church that led his parents to take him out of school. Gill did not suffer from that! But of course, he was an uncommon genius.
Next up is the Marketplace. It was deserted at the time I took this photograph - it was early on a Lord's Day morning! On the left is the old Corn Exchange, now apparently a covered market, but also once a cinema. It's possible that Andrew Fuller may have seen this building, but I don't know the date. Ahead is the Royal Hotel, so named because Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed there in 1844. John Gill and Andrew Fuller would have known it as the White Hart Inn. The facade is of course from the latter part of the nineteenth century. Beyond the Royal Hotel can be glimpsed the round tower of an Art Deco cinema, now a bingo hall.
It is impossible for a Reformed Baptist to take a camera to Kettering and not photograph the handsome Italianate facade of Fuller Baptist Church. Of course, Andrew Fuller did not preach in this building, but in its predecessor, known as the Little Meeting. You can see that only the front of the building is faced in ashlar, the rest of it being a yellowy-grey brick that would have been bright yellow originally, and looks much better when it has had a slight coating of grime. I didn't go in, as I was on my way to Pollard Evangelical Church at the time, and Fuller was about to have its service.
And there's more to come!