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Elstow Abbey in Autumn
Elstow Abbey and Green : October-November

Elstow Abbey was founded in 1078 by the Countess Judith, niece of William the Conqueror. It became one of the richer of the 106 Benedictine nunneries existing at the time and in its hey-day, in the fourteenth century, the building was twice its present size. The end of the Abbey came in 1539, as part of the dissolution of the monasteries.

By the time of Elizabeth I, the church itself had been reduced to its present dimensions, becoming the parish church of the village. The six Norman arches that still remain from the original building remind us of the Abbey’s long history of Christian worship.

Elstow is famous as the home of John Bunyan . He was baptised in our font in 1628 and as a child and young man he worshipped regularly in this abbey church. See History - John Bunyan on this website for further information.

If you have any questions about this website, or if you would like to contact someone at Elstow Abbey via e-mail, please use the
following link :

Elstow Abbey enquiries

... or use the 'Contact Us' form on the left of this page

Elstow Abbey in August
Elstow Abbey and Green in August

Elstow Abbey from the west
Elstow Abbey from the West
Elstow Abbey west path
Elstow Abbey west end pathway from gate

For information about St Michael's Church, Bedford (part of the Elstow Benefice) please see:

Elstow Abbey May Festival
Elstow Abbey May Festival 2016
See Picture Gallery for more photos of the event


For further information on our regular services and community activities, please use the following document links:


Report to the Annual Parocial Church Meeting - April 2016

The report provides a detailed current record of the many community and outreach activities and groups at Elstow Abbey as of April 2016 . The full document can be viewed/downloaded using the link below (a 'PDF' file).

APCM Reports on Church Activities and Groups - April 2016


Principal Services at Elstow Abbey
December 2016 to February 2017

December 2016

Saturday, December 3rd 2016
  • 09:30am Morning Prayer (Iona)
Sunday, December 4th 2016
Second Sunday of Advent
  • 10:00am Holy Communion with Sunday School
  • 11:20am Mattins (BCP)
  • 6:30pm Evensong (BCP)
Thursday, December 8th 2016
  • Holy Communion (said)
Saturday, December 10th 2016
  • 09:30 Morning Prayer (Iona)
  • 16:00 Christingle Messy Church
Sunday, December 11th 2016
Third Sunday of Advent
  • 10:00am Family Communion with Sunday School
  • 11:30 Mattins (BCP)
  • 15:00 Christingle Service
  • 18:30 Evensong (BCP)
Thursday, December 15th 2016
  • Holy Communion (said)
Saturday, December 17th 2016
  • 09:30 Morning Prayer (Iona)
  • 16:00 Christingle Messy Church
Sunday, December 18th 2016
Fourth Sunday of Advent
  • 10:00 Holy Communion with Sunday School
  • 11:30 Mattins (BCP)
  • 18:30 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Saturday, December 24th 2016
Christmas Eve
  • 09:30 Morning Prayer (Iona)
  • 14:30 Crib service
  • 16:00 Crib service
  • 23:30 Midnight Mass
Sunday, December 25th 2016
Christmas Day
  • 10.30am Christmas Day Holy Communion
Thursday, December 29th 2016
  • Holy Communion (said)

January 2017

Sunday, January 1st 2017
  • NO morning worship
  • 18:30 Holy Communion (said)
Sunday, Janaury 8th 2017
  • 10:00 Holy Communion with Sunday School
  • 11:30 Mattins (BCP)
  • 15:00 Christening Service
  • 18:30 Evensong (BCP)
Thursday, January 12th 2017
  • Holy Communion (said)
Saturday, January 14th 2017
  • 09:30 Morning Prayer (Iona)
Sunday, Janaury 15th 2017
  • 10:00 Holy Communion with Sunday School
  • 11:30 Mattins (BCP)
  • 15:00 Christening Service
  • 18:30 Evensong (BCP)
Thursday, January 19th 2017
  • Holy Communion (said)
Saturday, January 21st 2017
  • 09:30 Morning Prayer (Iona)
Sunday, January 22nd 2017
  • 10:00 All-Age Worship
  • 11:30 Mattins (BCP)
  • 18:30 Holy Communion (BCP)
Thursday, January 26th 2017
  • Holy Communion (said)
Saturday, January 28th 2017
  • 09:30 Morning Prayer (Iona)
Sunday, January 29th 2017
  • 10:00 Holy Communion with Sunday School
  • 11:30 Mattins (BCP)
  • 18:30 Taizé Worship and Healing Service

February 2017

Thursday, February 2nd 2017
  • Holy Communion (said)
Saturday, February 4th 2017
  • 09:30 Morning Prayer (Iona)
Sunday, February 5th 2017
  • 10:00 Holy Communion with Sunday School
  • 11:30 Mattins (BCP)
  • 15:00 Christening Service
  • 18:30 Evensong (BCP)

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