Harrow Baptist Housing Association

 Becket Fold Harrow Baptist Sheltered Housing

 Becket Fold Harrow Baptist Church Sheltered Housing long shot

The Church was involved in providing sheltered housing for the elderly for many years.In the early 1960s a series of house groups were set up which resulted in the Church wanting to express in a practical way the role of the Church in the community.  Spurred on by the difficulties experienced by a lot of elderly people in the bitter winter of 1962/3 it was decided to consider the possibilities of helping the older members of society. 

A fact finding committee was set up which investigated the financial and practical implications of various options and they decided in favour of a flatlet scheme.  This proposal was endorsed by the Church and to test the possible financial support an appeal “A Home of Their Own” was launched.  Within a very short time donations and promises amounting to £5,000. (a considerable sum in those days) had been received.No doubts remained and Harrow Baptist Housing Association Limited was incorporated in April 1964.

The Association was eventually able to purchase 6 Courtfield Crescent and adjoining land.
The house was converted into four flatlets and ten purpose built bungalows were erected.This development was named Becket Fold (after the then Minister of Harrow Baptist Church being the Revd. Charles Becket).  

In 1969 preliminary enquiries were made to extend the site to part of the adjoining allotments and after a lot of involved negotiations the Housing Association was able to purchase the land from Harrow Council.  Eventually a further 54 flatlets were built in four blocks, all connected by corridors, and with the main block comprising accommodation for a warden and assistant warden and various communal facilities.  The first tenants were able to move in in the autumn of 1974 and the estate was officially opened by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in December 1975.

Apart from the paid wardens the Association was run entirely by a committee consisting of volunteers from Harrow Baptist Church.  This situation continued until 1984 but with the 
increasing number of Housing Associations in existence by then and the corresponding increase in government legislation having to be met, the task of running the Housing Association became ever more complicated and it was felt expert advice, particularly in the area of funding, improvements and future developments, was needed.

Harrow Churches Housing Association, which was formed shortly after Harrow Baptist Housing Association, which was supported by some forty churches in Harrow, including Harrow Baptist Church, had approached us to suggest we pooled our resources.  A merger between the two Housing Associations would result in the merged Housing Association being large enough to entitle it to various grants which would enable the new Association to employ the professional staff needed.  The merger was duly agreed and the formalities completed and the merger became effective on 30th September 1994.

Members of Harrow Baptist Church continued to be involved by serving on various committees after the merger: in fact John Newby who had been Chairman of Harrow Baptist Housing Association subsequently became Chairman of Harrow Churches Housing Association, an office he held until July, 2013.