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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.

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Elstow Abbey in August
Elstow Abbey and Green in August


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


For further information on services and community activities, please see the Elstow Church Bulletin :

Elstow Bulletins graphic
Elstow Church Bulletin

May 10th - 22nd 2015



Revd Jeremy Crocker will be installed in St Paul's Cathedral Nicosia, Cyprus at 6pm (4pm BST) on Sunday, May 24th 2015

As we are not able to attend the ceremony we would like to mark this occasion and to be with him in spirit by holding a short time of prayer and worship at Elstow Abbey at 4pm Sunday, May 24th .


Principal Services
May 2015

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

Sunday, May 3rd - Fifth Sunday of Easter
Revd Jeremy Crocker's last Sunday at Elstow Abbey

  • 10.30am Benefice Holy Communion + Sunday School (followed by a bring-and-share lunch)
  • 6.30pm Evensong
Sunday, May 10th - Sixth Sunday of Easter
  • 10am Holy Communion + Sunday School
  • 11.20am Mattins (Group)
  • 10.15am Holy Communion at St Michael’s
  • 11.00am Holy Communion at St Mary’s Cardington
  • 4.00pm Friends of Elstow Abbey service and AGM (followed by tea)
  • 6.30pm Evensong
Thursday, May 14th - Ascension Day
  • 11.00am Holy Communion (Elstow Abbey)
  • 7.30pm Ascension Day service at All Saints, Kempston
Sunday, May 17th - Seventh Sunday of Easter
  • 10am Holy Communion + Sunday School
  • 11.20am Mattins
  • 10.15am Holy Communion at St Michael’s
  • 11.00am Holy Communion at St Mary’s Cardington
  • 6.00pm Christian Aid Service at the Howard Memorial Church (Cardington)
  • 6.30pm Evensong
Monday, May 18th to Friday, May 22nd Scripture Union at Elstow Abbey
(no 11am Thursday Holy Communion at Elstow this week)

Sunday, May 24th - Day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday)

  • 10am Family Service + Sunday School
  • 11.20am BCP Holy Communion
  • 10.15am Holy Communion at St Michael’s
  • 11.00am Holy Communion at St Mary’s Cardington
  • 6.30pm Evensong
Sunday, May 31st - Trinity Sunday
  • 10.00am Holy Communion + Sunday School
  • 10.15am Holy Communion at St Michael’s
  • 11.00am Holy Communion at St Mary’s Cardington
  • 11.20am Mattins
  • 6.30pm Evensong
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