Chapels and Mission Rooms

Baptist Chapel

The Sawley Baptists are one of the oldest-established Nonconformist organisations in the East Midlands.  It is thought they were first formed in 1766, meeting initially in a private house[1].  Their first meetinghouse in Sawley, opened in 1783, was an existing building, given by Joseph Parkinson, and fitted out by John Stenson.  Members came as far as twenty miles distant to worship on Sundays.

Initially it was attached to the Kegworth chapel, but from 1785 it became part of the Castle Donington circuit.

Mr. T. Pickering seems to have been in charge, his ministry being so successful that in 1800 a new Meeting House was built on Back Street.  Mr. Pickering preached to ever-increasing congregations until he died in 1807. 

It is recorded that no fewer than eighty persons were baptized in the River Trent in three years.

This church, which has its own burial ground, was extended in 1843.  A school (pictured right) and schoolmaster’s house were added at the same time.

The great Baptist Divine, Dr. John Clifford, was born at Sawley, and the house remains on Back Lane (Wilne Road), to which a small tablet has been attached.



Wesleyan Chapel

A Wesleyan Chapel was founded in 1822 on Cross Street.  It seems to have been demolished in the early 20th century and the site is now the garden in front of the WI.

In 1884 the current Wesleyan Chapel was opened on the corner of Nottingham (Tamworth) Road and Victoria Avenue. 

Primitive Methodist Chapel

The 1880 map shows another chapel on Chantry Close (behind the Nags Head).  It is possible this was the belonged to the Sawley Primitive Methodists, founded in 1819.  The 1851 Religious Census Return listed a chapel in Sawley, recently purchased from the New Connexion Methodists.  It seems to have closed in the early 1900s; perhaps 1904 when a new Primitive Methodist church opened on Derby Road, Long Eaton.

Clowes Primitive Methodist Chapel

The Clowes Primitive Methodist Chapel was built on Tamworth Road, beyond Sawley Junction.  In the mid-1960s the chapel building was taken over by the Happivale Social Club.

St Andrews Room

St Andrews Mission Room, a ‘tin tabernacle’ opened 1904 on Tamworth Road, just south of Charnwood Avenue.   It was built as a Sunday school and soon had over 100 children attending each week.   It was demolished in 1964.

St Marys Chapel

By 1909 over 1100 people were in Sawley parish but beyond the railway.  Money was raised to build a new church on Wilsthorpe Road (the building had previously been used as a chapel elsewhere).   As a ‘chapel of ease’, services were held as well as Sunday school and other classes.  It is one of only six ‘tin tabernacles’ left in Derbyshire.  Three of these are in Long Eaton/Sawley and St Marys is the only one still used as a chapel.

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