Friar Lane Chapel was founded in 1827 in Nottingham. The chapel building was begun in 1828 in the 'Dissenting Gothic' style, and was opened in 1829. In 1897 the congregation left Friar Lane for West Bridgford, but retained the name 'Friary'. They were joined by members from other Nottingham Congregational churches including Castle Gate and Park Hill. The old chapel was sold in 1899 and was subsequently demolished.
For two years after 1897 services were held in the Nottinghamshire Cricket Pavilion, West Bridgford. In September 1898 the memorial stone of new schoolrooms on Musters Road, on the corner with Millicent Road, West Bridgford, was laid. The schoolrooms were opened in March 1899 and used for worship, and the following year the new church buildings were begun. The new church was officially opened in September 1901.
Queens Walk Congregational Church amalgamated with Friary Church in 1970. In 1972, in common with most other Congregational Churches, Friary Church joined the United Reformed Church.
A number of key records held at The University of Nottingham in the Friary Church collection (Fy) date back to the formation of Friar Lane Chapel in 1827. These include church minutes and lists of members, which continue until the 1960s. Other administrative records such as accounts and correspondence date from after the move to West Bridgford. There is a set of church newsletters, 1931-1975, and a series of printed guides to fundraising bazaars, 1903-1954. The collection also includes minutes of Sunday School teachers’ meetings, 1896-1983. Finally, there is material relating to the church’s Centenary celebrations in 1997.
Two registers from Friar Lane Chapel are held in the Friary Church collection at The University of Nottingham:
- Baptism register, 1827-1863; marriage register, 1839-1864; and burial register, 1827-1854; all in one volume (Fy M 1/1). Extracted details from this register are available in PDF format: baptisms, 1827-1863; marriages, 1839-1864; burials, 1827-1854.
- Baptism register, 1948-1968 (Fy R 3/1)
Pre-1837 registers from Friar Lane Chapel are held at The National Archives:
- Birth and baptism register, 1804-1837 (RG 4/1407)
- Burial register, 1827-1836 (RG 4/1408)
Microfiche copies of these registers can be seen at The National Archives and at Nottinghamshire Archives.
The website www.bmdregisters.co.uk offers paid access to digital images of the registers via a subscription. It is free to search the registers on this website.
Indexes to the registers are also available as part of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and can be searched for free on www.familysearch.org.
Sixty years of Congregationalism in West Bridgford. (Ilkeston : Thomas Roe, Printer, ) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Pamphlet Not 472.M72 FRI]
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