Derbyshire Places of Worship

We have 4 Images St Maksymilian Kolbe Polish Church, Derby (1) (81k) St Maksymilian Kolbe Polish Church, Derby (2) (92k) St Maksymilian Kolbe Polish Church, Derby (3) (100k) St Maksymilian Kolbe Polish Church, Derby (4) (89k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Mike Berrell
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St Maksymilian Kolbe Polish Church, Derby
St Maksymilian Kolbe Polish Church,
9 Gordon Road, DE23 6WR,
Derby, Derbyshire.


We don't know whether 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 1984, and we understand it is still open.

This church was dedicated originally as St Joseph's Roman Catholic church. It was designed by James Hart, and completed in 1897. In 1984, however, a new St Joseph's was opened, on a site overlooking Burton Road, which had been occupied by a council-owned children's home ('Temple House' - a Regency villa), and the old "St Joe's" became redundant. It was at this point that it passed to the Polish community, and the church was rededicated to their parish's saint, St Maksymilian Kolbe.

An article - "WWII RC Church renamed to honour Martyr of Nazi Camp" of 2nd February 2010 (article 1798017), formerly part of the Bygone Derbyshire website provided a good description of its second dedication. Unfortunately, this appears to be no longer online, so I am providing a brief summary of it below.

So who was St Maksymilian Kolbe?

He was an extremely charismatic monk, born with the rather more prosaic name of Raymond Kolbe, on January 7, 1894, at Zdunska Wola, in Poland, one of three sons of pious Catholic weaver Julius Kolbe and his wife, Marianne.

He was educated at a seminary in Lvov, became a novice in 1911 and took his final vows shortly after his father's death in 1914. He changed his name to Maksymilian when he first adopted a monastic life.

In 1927, an admirer, Prince Drucki-Lubecki, gave him some land at Teresin, near Warsaw, on which he founded the monastery of Niepokalanow. After the Nazi invasion in September 1939, his community took in many refugees, more than half of them Jews. Inevitably, the occupiers closed it down, and Kolbe was sent to prison in Warsaw in 1941. Three months later, he was transferred to Auschwitz.

There he dedicated himself entirely to the relief of his fellow prisoners' suffering, celebrated the sacraments with smuggled bread and wine and heard confessions. He volunteered to take the place of a married man with children in a series of executions, and died a martyr's death on August 14, 1941, by lethal injection after three weeks' starvation.

St Maksymilian (sometimes spelled "Maximilian") Kolbe was canonised by Pope John Paul II on 10th October 1982.


Now or formerly Roman Catholic (Polish).

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 SK3491335039. 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 Derby, 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 8 Dec 2010 at 20:12.

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This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 17:42:19 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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