On Sundays Maureen and I generally go to this church if possible. Maureen has been going for the twenty years we have lived here and is now a Deacon. I started attending more frequently a few years ago. It is a delightful little Baptist Chapel and the following tells you a bit more about it:
The church was founded in 1693 and now in 2009 will be 316 years old. It has been at its present location in Charnwood Road since 7th May 1834 when the new chapel building was opened.
There were Baptists in the Shepshed and Rempstone areas and in 1693 they joined together and for a time the community met for worship in the front parlour of one of the members, Mr Harris, in Antill's Lane, which became known as Meeting Lane. The first Baptist Chapel was built in 1717 and there was a graveyard and a minister's house.
In October 1832, during the pastorate of Rev. Joseph Bromwich, who held the position for 44 years, attention was called to the dilapidated, condition of the Meeting House. As it was considered useless to attempt any repairs, it was resolved to build a new place of worship on the chapel property, situated in what was known as Charley Way, now Charnwood Road.
This chapel was opened on 7th May 1834. Towards the total cost of £630, no less than £240 was raised in Shepshed alone. At first, trouble arose through the introduction of musical instruments, but subsequently the prejudice died down and a choir was formed.
Rev. T. Rhys Evans, of Countesthorpe, took over the pastorate in 1871, and remained until 1890. Three years after he came, in 1874, a new baptistery was erected in the chapel, the custom hitherto being to use the village brook for baptisms, and floodgates were used to dam it for the administration of the rite. The brook still runs at the bottom of the chapel yard. The baptistery is situated in the centre of the platform under the pulpit.
In 1866 an organ was obtained for public worship and in 1877 galleries were erected in the chapel at a cost of upwards of £450, the greater part of which was raised before the re-opening services. A few years on, the ground adjoining the chapel, was purchased at a cost of about £400.
Rev. E. M. Andrews succeeded as pastor of the church in 1890 and in 1893 the Bi-centenary of the church was celebrated. In the meantime considerable alterations and improvements were made in the interior of the chapel, and new schoolrooms had been put up at a cost of £1,000.
The Rev. A. E. Pope undertook the charge in 1908. For a considerable time the question of removing the old straight back seats in the chapel and replacing them with some of a modern type had been considered, and the scheme was taken up in real earnest shortly after that.
The church has its own website at http://www.crbcshepshed.org.uk/welcome.htm and a lot of the photography featured on it has come from me, and I am also building up a photo archive of the church's activities for future worshipers to look at in years to come.
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