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An early photo of Muddiford URC

A stone beside a stream?  
Yes, a foundation stone for what was to become a place of worship for generations to come! It was 1845 and the local congregation, which until then had met in a small wooden chapel adjoining a cottage in Muddiford, were able to purchase a plot of land by the Colam Stream for a larger stone chapel to be built to house their growing congregation. The chapel built at a cost of £250, was almost entirely paid for by members of the parish and was officially opened on September 9th 1846. 110 people attended the opening service and the total offerings received on that day amounted to £11, equivalent to almost £600 today!  A generous benefactor paid for a solid oak front door, which is in place to this day.


Nothing is for ever; the building was initially known as The Independent Chapel, then Muddiford Congregational Church and since 1972 Muddiford United Reformed Church. Over the years different ministers have over-seen the church, different people have taken services, various folk have worshipped there but through it all the welcome and witness remain the same.
Similarly the early days of the Sunday School (led by John Prideaux for 36years) with anniversary services & festivals may be a far cry from a more recent youth club, but the message of Jesus has reached young people down the generations.

On 22nd December 2012 when the Christmas decorations were in place, the building was badly flooded (you can't be much closer to water!). A disaster? Maybe, but as part of the re-ordering process, a decision was made to remove most of the pews and replace them with comfortable chairs; meanwhile a cross, crafted from one of the pews, was erected on the wall at the front of the church.

An early photo of Muddiford URC
The door decorated for Harvest

March 2020 – Coronavirus! Muddiford Chapel had to close! Well the building closed – but each Sunday, from the first one after lock-down, every member of the congregation has been able to meet on Zoom. It not only helped us to support one another through a very difficult time but strangely has brought us closer together.

For much of the time during the pandemic we met on Wednesday evenings as well to listen to testimonies, learn about various charities, and just have fun & fellowship, One consequence of which is, we've learned some very interesting facts about each other! 

Buildings may close but the church is always open!

Again starting during the pandemic, we share in a Sunday Evening Prayer time on Zoom.  This started with just those from, or with links to, Muddiford URC but has grown to include members of other local churches.  During this time we have responded to personal requests for prayer for family and friends, as well as for national and world situations..

We have seen answers to prayer, but most of all we have the encouragement of knowing that we are one in our requests to God.  Sometimes we need to be reminded that we have so much to praise God for too and it's good to have times of thanksgiving.

Who knows where these times of prayer will lead us next!


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