History

Emmanuel Church is a Grade 2 listed building within Swadlincote Conservation area. Before a Church was built in Swadlincote, the area had been served by the Parish Church of Gresley. The first meeting to consider the building of a Church in Swadlincote was in 1844. The Committee approached various church building societies for grants, as well as appealing for donations locally and asked several local dignitaries to support them on the committee.

“Mr Stevens of Derby” was chosen as architect and the land on which the Church stands was the gift of Mr William Eaton Mousley of Derby. Messrs Mousley of Derby appears to have been a firm of solicitors. Their name appears occasionally in legal documents of that time. An area of land offered earlier by Court Granville esq. had been rejected because it was so wet, but Court Granville laid the cornerstone of the new Church on 21st October 1845. The Church was consecrated on Tuesday 20th October 1846 by the Right Rev’d John Lonsdale, Lord Bishop of Lichfield.

The Church building is largely unchanged today. The main difference is that originally there was a spirelet, which surmounted the west gable but this no longer exists. Internally, the main difference is that when built, the chancel and transepts were filled with pews and so the Church originally had a greater seating capacity. The original pews remain in the nave, the Church now seats 150 and still has the silver chalice presented by the Venerable Walter Augustus Shirley, Archdeacon of Derby, and the silver paten, presented by the Rev’d Lloyd of Willesley. Rev’d Lloyd also gave a brass alms plate which was rediscovered in a pile of old music in the vestry in 1978.

In 1908, it had been pointed out that the Church only had one door and that a further door was desirable as a fire escape. Accordingly a new doorway was made in the west wall of the south transept. Around the time of the Great War, the walls had to be underpinned section by section due to a shaking from a bomb which fell close by. Later in the war, the vestry meeting held in April 1919 directed that the Church was not worth further repair and that a new one should be built. The idea of a new Church caught on, but by January 1921 had been modified to a Church alteration scheme for the addition of a chancel, vestries, North aisle and tower. Later the scheme was modified still further until finally, there emerged the comprehensive renovation of the existing Church. The bulk of the work was completed by 1930.

The Church hall was officially opened on the 15th December 1973 by the Right Rev’d Cyril Bowles, Bishop of Derby and the East Wing extension on the 14th January 1990 by Right Revd Peter Dawes, Bishop of Derby.

Advertisements