Stanley St Andrew's Church
Plan of Proposed Vestry Enlargement Stanley Church. 1922
With thanks to Rev Ingrid Owen - Jones
The United Church of All Saints, Stanley Common
The building is a simple, unimposing but nicely proportioned brick and slate church set back behind a neat lawn and a Hawthorne hedge on the south side of Belper Road, Stanley Common. Substantially finished as the First World War was starting. All Saints had to wait for peacetime to get its vestry, which was erected as a memorial to those from the village who had given their lives in the conflict. It was a newcomer on the local church scene, built as a daughter church for St. Andrew’s at Stanley at a time when the village was growing to accommodate local coal mining development; no fewer than three Methodist chapels already thrived along Belper Road.
The church today is both Anglican and Methodist, a local ecumenical partnership which is to be formally inaugurated on the nineteenth of this month. That will be the third anniversary of the closure of the last of those three Methodist churches (Stanley Common, formerly Smalley Common Methodist, then exactly one hundred years old), when we locked the doors for the last time and walked in procession down the road to the All Saints building to share it as a single congregation - The United Church of All Saints.
We have a regular congregation of about thirty meeting for worship services, staffed (more or less) alternately by the Anglican Benefice and the Methodist Circuit; we have a thriving Mothers’ Union branch, a monthly craft group and a house fellowship group, all of which have Methodist and Anglican membership. Our village C of E Primary School links with us through governors, clergy input and the use of the building for special services, concerts and RE lessons. Last Easter we had the pleasure of presenting the school with the rosewood cross which used to hang in the chapel schoolroom - it now hangs in the reception area helping to announce the school’s Christian vision.
As we become legally one new church to serve our village community, we have fresh challenges ahead. Convinced that the village needs a church which is open through the week, we are working hard on plans to make the west end of the building into a multi-use room and to add toilet, kitchen and storage space in an easily accessed entrance porch extension; we’re also working hard to put together the funding to make it possible. One day we hope to see the place buzzing with life on weekdays - school run drop-in, coffee mornings, health related groups - in fact, to be making a fresh contribution to the total health and well-being of Stanley Common.
Report on Building a Toilet and Kitchenette
For some years the congregation at St. Andrew’s Church in Stanley, Derbyshire had wondered whether it would be possible to build a toilet, either as an extension to the church or within the church.
The absence of these facilities often meant that people would either not be able to attend church, or, if travelling long distances to the church for weddings, baptisms and funerals, had to be directed to the local public house.
It was also deemed unwise to put on concerts in church, and the school only had limited use of the church space, as they could only ever be there for a short time before it was necessary to walk a child back to school to use the toilet.
This matter was discussed again in the early part of 2015 and it was suggested that an architect should be approached to discuss the matter. Mark Parsons, the Church’s architect from Ashbourne, was approached and he suggested a toilet being built within the existing vestry, which would create a space to incorporate a kitchenette.
Village Support and Fund Raising
The church held a Village Open Meeting, which was attended by a goodly number of people, during which the plan of building a toilet was discussed.
Later, in 2017 a survey was conducted in the village, with a form going to every house. Of those who returned the survey questionnaire, all said they supported the idea of having a toilet and kitchenette in the church, and most indicated that if that were done, they would visit the church more frequently.
The PCC agreed to plans being drawn up and finally on the 19th May 2016 they voted for the project to go ahead.
It was now a time of trying to raise funds. There were several coffee mornings, donations and legacies were received and one parishioner ran a ‘guess the weight of the pumpkin’ competition by sitting in the local shop most days and encouraging customers to have a go.
Other grants were sought and received from National Lottery, Erewash Borough Council and the National Churches Trust. Finally, sufficient funds had been raised and the Church Faculty had been granted so that work could start.
Completion and Dedication
The construction works finished in late spring 2018 and on the 24th June 2018 the Bishop of Repton, the Rt. Rev’d. Jan MacFarlane, rededicated the now finished project. At that festive service, attended by many villagers, the Erewash Phoenix Choir and the choir of St. Andrew’s School delighted the congregation with their musical contributions. Since then, a section of pews has been taken out at the West End of the church and has been replaced by chairs, which, together with the toilet and kitchenette makes the space far more usable for meetings, social gatherings and school activities.
Report by the Rev’d Ingrid Owen-Jones, June 2020.