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Congregational churches in Leicester

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In Leicester in Leicestershire, UK there been have been numerous places of worship of various denominations, including the Congregational church.[1][2][3] The first Congregationalist church in Leceister was founded 1801. Numerous others were built in the 19th century.[4][5] Many closed in the 20th century following the formation of union churches and declining congregations.[6]

Open churches[edit]

Clarendon Park Congregational Church
  • Abbots Road (now United Reformed Church)[7][3]
  • Dumbleton Avenue (now Christchurch United Reformed Church)[8][3]
  • East Bond Street, Great Meeting (now Unitarian) (formerly a united Congregational and Presbyterian meeting)
  • Elmdale Street, Belgrave, Belgrave Union (a Nonconformist union church, formerly with Baptist and Congregational affiliations, now with Baptist and United Reformed Church affiliations)
  • Hinckley Road, (now Westcotes United Reformed Church)[3]
  • Linden Street, North Evington Free Church (formerly affiliated to Congregational Union, but now identifying itself as Baptist)
  • London Road, Clarendon Park Congregational Church[9], a grade II listed building[10][7][3]
  • The Common, Evington (now Wycliffe United Reformed Church)[11][3]

Closed churches[edit]

  • Bath Street, Belgrave, (demolished)[3]
  • Bond Street 1803[5](demolished)[3]
  • College Street, acquired from the Collegiate School in 1866. The original Gothic building, erected in 1835, was bought by the Leicester Education Committee in 1954.[5]
  • Collegiate Church (Congregational) (part of the old Collegiate School)
  • Gallowtree Gate (1823-1921), demolished 1927[5][3]
  • Granby Street (1801, enlarged 1821 and 1864)[5], (demolished)[3], later site of Charles Street Baptist school
  • Harvey Lane
  • Humberstone Road (1880), Union church[5](demolished)[3][12]
  • London Road[5][3]opened for worship April 28, 1858- demolition July 1960[10]
  • Main Street, Humberstone[3]
  • Millstone Lane (demolished)[3]
  • Oxford Street (1815, replaced in 1863)[5][3]
  • Peel Street,(demolished)[3]
  • Sanvey Gate[3]
  • Willow Street (1837-1936), Wycliffee church[5], (demolished)[3]

See also[edit]


  1. Moore, Andre (2008). Where Leicester Has Worshipped. ISBN 978-0-9533628-2-0. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. "Faith & Belief - Story of Leicester". www.storyofleicester.info.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 Mapped - University of Leicester Archeology and Ancient History Mapping Faith and Place
  4. Binfield, Clyde (30 September 2005). "An East Midland Call: Its Context and Some Consequences. The Genesis of the Clarendon Park Congregational Church" (PDF). Leicester Archeaological and Historical Society. Retrieved 14 March 2020. None of the Leicester churches listed in the 1886 Congregational Year Book(...) predated 1800. That was the year when Bond Street was formed. Gallowtree Gate followed in 1824, then London Road, Oxford Street, and Wycliffe, in 1857, 1862, and 1867 respectively, followed by Belgrave and Emanuel in 1874, Humberstone Road in 1876 and, so recently that it first appeared only in the 1887 Year Book, Clarendon Park, formed in 1886: seven churches in thirty years.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 "The ancient borough: Protestant Nonconformity: A History of the County of Leicester: Volume 4". Victoria County History. 1958. pp. 390–394. Retrieved January 11, 2020. The Congregational chapel in Bond Street was founded in 1800, partly by a secession of those members of the Great Meeting who did not welcome the advance towards Unitarianism being made by the meeting at that time. Their first chapel was in Granby Street, on the site of the subsequent Charles Street Baptist school. This chapel was purchased in 1801 from the Kilhamites or New Connexion Methodists. The Bond Street chapel was built in 1803 and enlarged in 1821 and 1864. A second chapel in Gallowtree Gate was built in 1823 and underwent considerable alterations during the last century before it was closed in 1921, together with the attached Sunday school. The building was demolished in 1927. Chapel Yard, on the West side of the street, is the only surviving indication of its existence. A Congregational chapel in London Road was built in 1858; one in Oxford Street, replacing an earlier building of about 1815, was built in 1863; one in Willow Street was opened about 1873 and closed about 1936; and the Union church in Humberstone Road at the corner of Newby Street was built in 1880. The Wycliffe church in College Street was acquired from the Collegiate School in 1866: the original Gothic building, erected in 1835, was designed by a Sheffield architect named Weightman or Whiteman. The church was bought by the Leicester Education Committee in 1954, but in 1955 was still used for services on Sundays.
  6. Rimmington, Gerald T. (2007). "Congregationalism and Society in Leicestershire and Rutland 1916-1966" (PDF). Leicestershire Archeological and Historical Society. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "CLARENDON PARK CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, City of Leicester - 1361393 | Historic England". historicengland.org.uk.
  8. "christchurch". www.christchurch-urc.co.uk.
  9. "Clarendon Park Congregational church". CPCC.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Goddard, Jane (15 May 2019). "Distinctive Victorian city church was another loss to street scene during decade of demolition". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  11. "Place of Welcome | Wycliffe United Reformed Church | Leicester". Wycliffe.
  12. Butt, Stephen (2018), Historic England: Leicester: Unique Images from the Archives of Historic England, Amberley Publishing Limited, ISBN 9781445683638


  • A Brief History of Free Churches in Leicestershire & Rutland, Rev A A Betteridge
  • Leicester Congregationalism, 1800–1910, H T Chambers (1910)
  • Those Taking Part 1802-1952: A brief history of Bond Street Congregational Church Leicester, E M Drew (1951)
  • Abbots Road United Reformed Church: The First Fifty Years, Eric A Hanson (1979)
  • The Story of Our Churches 1662–1962, Leicester & Rutland Congregational Union (1962)
  • Centenary of the London Road Congregational Church, Leicester 1857–1957, W Orr (1957)
  • Gallowtree Gate Congregational Chapel Leicester 1823–1921, Gerald T Rimmington (1999)
  • University Of Leicester Archaeology and Ancient History Interactive Geo map of sites

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