St James’s Chapel was established in 1823 in a house on St James’s Street in Nottingham, purchased by Castle Gate Church. An Independent congregation began worshipping there and soon built a new church. By 1873 there were more than 170 members. In 1880 the congregation decided to move from St James’s and sold the premises. They bought a property on Park Hill Terrace on Derby Road, and laid the foundation stone of a new church in June 1882. Until the church was completed and opened in June 1883, services were held at the Mechanics’ Hall. New Sunday School buildings were opened at Park Hill in 1890.
Park Hill joined the United Reformed Church in 1972, but closed in around 1979. In 2010 the church buildings were used by the Greek Orthodox Church.
The records of Park Hill Congregational Church (CU/Z4) contain a few records from St James’s Chapel, including minutes of Sunday School teachers' meetings, 1871-1887; a Sunday School attendance register, 1864-1884; papers relating to St James Street Chapel Benevolent Society, 1864-1893; and papers relating to the burial ground at St James Chapel, 1878-1880. There are a number of papers relating to the procedure of buying the Park Hill property and building the new church. The remainder of the records relate to the Park Hill church from 1883 onwards. They include minutes of Deacons’ and church meetings, minutes of Sunday School teachers’ meetings, and a bundle of programmes, notices and other papers for special services and events, 1963-1978.
There are other records of Park Hill Church at Nottinghamshire Archives:
- Minute book of church meetings, 1822-1888 (NC/IR13/11)
- Souvenir booklet dated 1923, and other miscellaneous items (NC/IR13/8, 12-17).
Various original registers are held at Nottinghamshire Archives:
- Baptism register from St James’s Chapel, which continued to be used at Park Hill, 1823-1917 (NC/IR13/9)
- Baptism register from Park Hill, 1930-1936 (NC/IR13/10)
- Marriage registers from Park Hill, 1899-1975 (NC/IR13/1-7)
One pre-1837 register from St James’s Chapel is held at The National Archives:
- Birth and baptisms register 1823-1837 (RG 4/2843)
Microfiche copies of this register 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 register via a subscription. It is free to search the register on this website.
Indexes to the register are also available as part of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and can be searched for free on www.familysearch.org.
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