Derbyshire Places of Worship

Melbourne Baptist Church, Melbourne (1) (34k) Melbourne Baptist Church, Melbourne (2) (24k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Paul Slater
Melbourne Baptist Church, Melbourne
Melbourne Baptist Church,
Chapel Street, DE73 8EH,
Melbourne, Derbyshire.

Cemeteries

This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1747, and we understand it is still open.

The congregation of Melbourne Baptist Church originated about 1747, after the church at Barton in the Beans, in Leicestershire, sent itinerant preachers to the area. Like its parent church, Melbourne was originally Independent (so described on a 1753 marriage covenant), but both were General Baptist by 1760, with Melbourne being one of the founders of the General Baptist new Connexion.

The first chapel, built in 1747-8 was 'virtually rebuilt' in 1832, and today only the lower openings, for two doors and a central venetian-style window, remain recognisable as work of the 1750s. There is a burial ground to the rear, with memorials to (1) Ann wife of James WORSTALL (1760), (2) Thomas ROBINSON (1768) and several family members, and (3) John Joseph, son of James and Ann NEWBOLD (1845) "with cherub in oval cartouche", and there are other memorials inside the church. The organ was brought in 1856 from Great Meeting in Leicester.

A school was added to the north, next to the chapel in 1810. It is built of brick, was enlarged in 1835 and rebuilt in 1852. The two are joined by a narrow frontage, also brick. The Baptist Church itself is now a Grade II Listed Building - see British Listed Buildings website for details. [Source: Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Derbyshire (1986)]

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] In between the two front windows is a plaque commemorating Thomas Cook.[1]

[Image 2] This plaque is in between the 2 windows in the front of the Church. Thomas COOK was born 22nd November 1808, and was the founder of "Thomas Cook and Son", now a household word in the travel business - “Don't just book it - Thomas Cook it” - as their advertising slogan goes.

More comprehensive details of his ‘rags to riches’ story are available on several sites online, but briefly, he became a Baptist Minister, and in 1841 persuaded the Midland Counties Railway Company to run an ‘excursion’ train from Leicester and Loughborough to attend a major Temperance rally. This ‘day trip’ proved to be so popular that the railway agreed to make such arrangements regularly if Cook would provide the passengers. He also organised excursions from Leicester to Calais for the Paris Exposition of 1855, and in the 1880s, provided military transport and postal services with Egypt. For further details, and more quotations see www.angelfire.com/zine/baptistsurfer/ThomasCook.html (Biography - Thomas Cook).[1]

Denomination

Now or formerly General Baptist.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Church is located at OS grid reference SK3863025367. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.

Acknowledgements

A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Last updated on 6 Jun 2011 at 12:06.

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This Report was created 20 Jul 2017 - 09:34:16 BST from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 4 Jun 2017 at 08:14.

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