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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 Abbeyís 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

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
Elstow Abbey west gate
Elstow Abbey west gate and tower


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


For further information on our regular services and community activities, please see the


Principal Services
February - March 2016

Benefice (and other services not held at Elstow Abbey) are shown in italics.

Sunday, Febrruary 7th
The Sunday next before Lent (Quinquagesima)

  • 10:00am Family Communion with Sunday School
  • 10.15 am Holy Communion at St Michaelís
  • 11.00 am Holy Communion at St Maryís Cardington
  • 11:20am BCP Holy Communion
  • 6:30pm Evensong
Wednesday, Februrary 10th
Ash Wednesday
  • 7:00pm Ash Wednesday Holy Communion with imposition of ashes at St Michael's
Sunday, February 14th
First Sunday of Lent
  • 10:00am Holy Communion with Sunday School
  • 10.15 am Holy Communion at St Michaelís
  • 11.00 am Holy Communion at St Maryís Cardington
  • 11:20am Mattins (group)
  • 6:30pm Evensong
Sunday, February 21st
Second Sunday of Lent
  • 10:00am Family Communion with Sunday School
  • 10.15 am Holy Communion at St Michaelís
  • 11.00 am Holy Communion at St Maryís Cardington
  • 11:20am Mattins
  • 6:30pm Evensong
Sunday, February 28th
Third Sunday of Lent
  • 10:00am Family Service with Sunday School
  • 10.15 am Holy Communion at St Michaelís
  • 11.00 am Holy Communion at St Maryís Cardington
  • 11:20am Mattins (Group)
  • 6:30pm Holy Communion and Healing
Sunday, March 6th
Fourth Sunday of Lent (Mothering Sunday)
  • 10:00am Family Communion with Sunday School
  • 10.15 am Holy Communion at St Michaelís
  • 11.00 am Holy Communion at St Maryís Cardington
  • 11:20am Holy Communion (BCP)
  • 6:30pm Evensong
Sunday, March 13th
Fifth Sunday of Lent
  • 10:00am Holy Communion with Sunday School
  • 10.15 am Holy Communion at St Michaelís
  • 11.00 am Holy Communion at St Maryís Cardington
  • 11:20am Mattins
  • 6:30pm Evensong
Sunday, March 20th
Palm Sunday
  • 10:00am Family Communion with Sunday School
  • 11:20am Mattins
  • 6:30pm Evensong
Thursday, March 24th
Maundy Thursday
  • 11:00am Holy Communion (SS) - Elstow Abbey
  • 7:30pm Holy Communion, stripping the Altar and Easter Vigil
Friday, March 25th
Good Friday
  • 10:00am Good Friday Family Service
  • 11:00am Last Hour - a meditation for Good Friday (group)
Saturday, March 26th
Easter Eve
  • 4.00pm Easter Messy Church
  • 7:30pm First Light of Easter
Sunday, March 27th
Easter Day
  • 10:30am Holy Communion and Sunday School
  • 6:30pm Easter Evensong Holy Communion

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