Derbyshire Places of Worship

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Central Methodist Church (formerly Zion Church), Clay Cross
Central Methodist Church (formerly Zion Church),
High Street, S45 9DZ,
Clay Cross, Derbyshire.


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 1824, and we understand it is still open.

The site of today's Central Methodist Church is shown on Old Maps to have been occupied in 1878-1899 by a Methodist New Connexion Church, which by 1917 was a "U.M." (United Methodist) Chapel.

A Clay Cross Character Statement ~ prepared for the North East Derbyshire District Council in 2010 ~ confirmed an earlier Chapel, erected in 1824. At that time, there was little development along the High Street (then called Chapel Street), and the Chapel occupied "an isolated spot to the east".

The Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/448/1/8/31) records "Zion Chapel", in "Clay Lane", erected in 1848, for a Methodist New Connexion congregation as a separate building, used exclusively as a place of worship. There was free seating for 190, and 196 "other" sittings, and the average congregation was 70 to morning service, and 230 in the evening, so evidently some of them had to avail themselves of the standing space, of which there was room for 100! The return was completed by John Thelwall, a Lay Preacher, of Clay Cross. Though the description indicates a later building, this return appears to fit better than any of the other chapels in the town.

The Methodist New Connexion separated from Wesleyan Methodists in 1797, becoming part of United Methodist Church in 1907, so a chapel built as early as 1824 is certainly possible, so perhaps the date of 1848 is of a refurbishment.

Derbyshire Record Office's Non-Conformist Register Guide includes records of baptisms at "High Street United Methodist Church" for the period 1866-1964.

It would appear that the Central Methodist Church replaced Zion Chapel around 1964. The DRO hold records of baptisms there for the period 1964-1997.

A small burial ground, behind the Chapel, is shown on Old Maps of 1878-1881.


Now or formerly New Connexion/United Methodist.

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


This Church is located at OS grid reference SK3920763285. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Clay Cross, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 11 Dec 2018 at 15:14.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that whilst the above account may suggest that Central Methodist Church (formerly Zion Church) remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 2 Dec 2023 - 06:26:49 GMT from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:33.

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