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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

Taize service - April 30th 2017

Come and join us for a service of Taizé worship at Elstow Abbey

May Festival 2017 at Elstow Abbey

Come and join us at the Elstow May Festival - lots to see and do!


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

Regular Sunday Worship at Elstow Abbey

  • 10.00am Holy Communion and Sunday school

    (4th Sunday Contemporary All-Age Worship)

  • 11.30am Mattins (Book of Common Prayer)

  • 6.30pm Evensong

    (4th Sunday - Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer) )

Regular Weekday Activities

  • Monday 10.00am Mothers and Toddlers (term time only)

    2.30pm Prayer Group

  • Tuesday 6.30pm Elstow Abbey Youth Group (term time only)

  • Wednesday 11.00am Coffee and soup

  • Thursday 11.00am Holy Communion

  • Friday 8.00pm Bell Ringing

  • Saturday 9.30am Iona Morning Prayer - Fr Paul Messam

  • 10.00am Open Church to book Weddings, Baptisms and general enquiries as well as for prayer.

Other events during the next month or so

  • Sunday, April 30th at 6.30pm
    An evening service of Taizé worship - Prayer, Song and Contemplation
  • Saturday, May 6th
    Elstow May Festival with maypole dancing, craft fair, stalls, food and entertainment. See poster for further details.
  • Sunday, May 21st
    A special Evening Service to celebrate St Helena’s Day
  • Saturday, June 3rd
    Pentecost Messy Church
  • We are also welcoming two Shakespeare companies this year to perform at Elstow Abbey:

  • Friday, June 16th
    Three Inch Fools perform 'Romeo and Juliet'
  • Tuesday, July 4th
    Durham University’s Castle Theatre Company perform 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

    Futher information about the Shakespeare performances, times and ticket prices will be posted on this website when available


For the full calendar of events at Elstow Abbey, please look at the 'Google' on-line calendar via the link below

Google calendar for Elstow Abbey

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