St Margaret


During the 1920s and 1930s Nottingham Corporation built new council estates to the north-west of the city centre at Bilborough and Aspley. In order to provide this growing population with a place of worship the Nottingham businessman J. D. Player built a temporary mission hall with seating for 200 on Aspley Lane. The mission hall was a prefabricated structure of wood and asbestos and was dedicated in November 1933. It was later used as the church hall, but was destroyed by fire in June 1971.

In December 1933 an Order in Council created a ‘separate District for spiritual purposes to be taken partly out of the Parish of Radford, partly out of the Parish of Bilborough, partly out of the Parish of Wollaton, partly out of the Parish of Basford, and partly out of the New Parish (sometime District Chapelry) of Christ Church, Cinder Hill.' Initially it was named 'The District of Saint Margaret, Aspley.’

The church in
the late 1930s.

The foundation stone of the permanent church was laid on 24 November 1934 by Margaret Player, John Dane Player, and his brother William Goodacre Player, who owned John Player & Sons, tobacco manufacturers in Nottingham. Their main factory was in nearby Radford. The building was funded by J D Player, his wife Margaret and their friend Sophia Welch. The Players also endowed the parish and funded the building of the vicarage. The church was consecrated on 15 February 1936 by the Bishop of Southwell, Neville Talbot.

Church activities included the Women’s Institute, Men’s Institute, Young People’s Fellowship, Guides, Scouts, Mothers’ Union, and Cricket Club. Sunday School began with 80 attenders, which rapidly increased to 150.

J. D. Player died in April 1950 and left £10,000 to the church to be used to ‘augment the stipends of her clergy … for the general welfare of the church and the erection of a mission hall or other building in connection therewith.’

In 1952 3,000 letters were sent out to the residents of the parish asking for contributions towards a tower clock which would form a memorial for the fallen of the Second World War. However, when the vicar opened the ones that had been returned he found that 12 of them contained ‘not the expected Treasury note, but his own letter of appeal, carefully resealed.’ Writing in the church magazine he described the senders as ‘people with a perverted sense of humour.’

In 2008 a stained glass window in memory of Nottingham businessman, George A. Newell, was installed in the east window of the chancel. It was designed and made by MDS Stained Glass.

The chancel was re-ordered in 2009 to create a flexible space for worship. This involved the removal of the choir pews and re-modelling the platform. This was made possible through gifts made in memory of Vera Hailing (a church member for many years) and James and Marguerite Baker who were close friends of church member Maria Poyser.

The nave was re-ordered between 2015 and 2018. This involved the replacement of wooden pews in the nave and aisles with light oak chairs.

Aspley St Margaret is currently (2021) part of the Woven group of Nottingham churches.