Building » Kempston – Our Lady of Ransom

Kempston – Our Lady of Ransom

Bedford Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire

A small and plain church, converted from a neo-Georgian telephone exchange.

Until the nineteenth century Kempston was a mainly rural parish, one of the largest in Bedfordshire. From 1870 the road from Kempston to Bedford began to be developed as Kempston New Town. The area grew rapidly in the interwar and postwar years, and is now essentially a suburb of Bedford.

Up until the Second World War, Kempston Catholics had to travel to Bedford to attend Mass. A chapel was established during the war at the army’s Grange Camp, served from Bedford, and was retained in use after 1945. The first resident Catholic priest was appointed in 1965 and the present church and attached presbytery (believed to be a former telephone exchange) was acquired around this time.


The church runs parallel with the road, with the presbytery giving off the south side, forming an L-shaped composition. Both buildings are built of plum-coloured brick laid in Flemish bond, under a hipped slate roof. Flush frame white painted sash windows. The present entrance is on the north side, via a new pavilion entrance with a pyramidal slate roof. The interior is a single space with a low flat ceiling. There are no furnishings of particular note.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1965

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed